If you’d like to continue believing that people are basically good at heart, it’s best to pretend The Adventures of Ford Fairlane is the result of a studio-executive double-dog-dare that went too far.
Manicured Slimebag in Tailored Suit #1: I’ll bet you that I can make a movie about anything, with any shit cast list you can give me, and make it a blockbuster.
MSTS #2: All right, smart-ass, give me a noir spoof about a, a rock ‘n’ roll detective, starring um, Andrew Dice Clay, Gilbert Gottfried, and Ed O’Neil.
MSTS #1: Aw, not fair. Those are three of the most obnoxious people alive.
MSTS #2: I’m not done yet. You also have to cast Wayne Newton, Priscilla Presley, Sheila E., Vince Neil, Robert Englund …
MSTS #1: The dude from Mötley Crüe? Freddy Kreuger?
MSTS #2: And, and Tone Loc. And you have to make Ed O’Neil a washed-up disco singer with a song called “Booty Time.”
The only other option is that people made this movie, spent several months’ time and hundreds of thousands of actual dollars, just to inflict pain on unsuspecting strangers. Clay, in the titular role you have to assume Gallagher turned down, monopolizes the movie in typical (private) dick fashion, using the near-constant narration mainly as an excuse for a water-torture trickle of one-liners, many of which reveal a common theme: “Suck my Dick Tracy.” “Clint Eastwood? I fucked him.” “Here’s to you … sucking my dick.” In a leather jacket with the collar popped, his hair in a ridiculous pompadour, Clay plays Ford as an oversexed Fonzie with a peepee-joke Rolodex. Most of the film seems like Clay’s adolescent wish-fulfillment: He charms a sorority with misogynistic banter, rocks out on Jimi Hendrix’s guitar, and somehow bangs a steady stream of bimbos and “whoo-ers,” including the set of identical twins he kicks out of bed in the morning with instructions to do his dishes. “We just needed to be held,” they complain, and you realize that, whatever failed reasoning spawned Ford Fairlane, its best use is probably as a lesbian-recruiting video.