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JOHN GOODMAN, CAMILLE CODURI & PETER O'TOOLE IN 'KING RALPH'

1991 rating: ***
Once again Camille Corduri spices up what could have been a mediocre comedy film, again set in England, only this one starts out surprisingly dark… When the entire Royal Family (no kids shown) are electrocuted during a outdoor photo session sudden a sudden rainstorm, the only heir – through a random royal tryst with a waitress – is an American wannabe musician named Ralph…

Camille Coduri
Well he is a musician, and severely wants to be a good one, playing a dive lounge in Vegas: Bill Murray combined with Mark Russell and John's own future BLUES BROTHER 1999 character...

Soon after the first number, he’s sought out by royal middleman Richard Griffiths, who brings the reluctant loser overseas to Peter O’Toole as Sir Cedric Charles Willingham, eventually becoming a John Gielgud to Ralph’s Arthur (including a fancy bathtub)… But fish outta water Ralph, moved to England to become, you got it, King, just can’t get into the prestigious role…

A busty Camille
That’s Ralph, not Goodman, who dives into the part with zeal and often trying too hard: the actor seems a bit overwhelmed in a leading cinematic role after mostly providing support for others. John's a funny guy but doesn’t have that many good lines to shine with. This allows Peter O’Toole’s droll manner to inject sporadic humor, both defending and representing Britain’s class against the shabby American firebrand, each representing their culture…

Reluctant showgirl
But our buxom centerpiece, Camille Corduri, helps once again: As a stripper who Ralph falls hopelessly in lust – and then love – with, she becomes the apple of his eye, turning him into a better, deeper man in the process... yeah, yeah, and all that Romantic Comedy jazz, but scenes with Goodman and Corduri surpass cliché and provide the rotund actor a chance to really act (BARTON FINK fans know he’s got more than potential), and, meanwhile, what's most important to us is our titular starlet Camille's Miranda, who battles guilt over being hired by antagonist John Hurt to get digs on the new King, allowing her to stretch beyond love interest and, now providing the audience two underdogs worth rooting for, the film rises slightly above the “common man out of his element” mainline, sprinkling some genuine humanity into the mix. Although the last act, when Ralph has to step up and get truly serious, derails the otherwise lightweight ride.
John Goodman's Ralph knighted by the new King ala Peter O'Toole
A proud former stripper/backmailed traitor looks on with Camille Coduri in KING RALPH
A Nice Pair NUNS ON THE RUN and KING RALPH both featuring Camille Coduri
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