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Comedy Movies - Niagara Motel


Niagara Motel
Craig Ferguson, Caroline Dhavernas, Kevin Pollack
Directed by Gary Yates
Based on a play by George F. Walker
88 minutes

Niagara Motel is almost a dark comedy. It has all the elements and the style but not quite the story to really make it work. Set at the Niagara Motel, a place that rents rooms by the month to various people down on their luck or trying to find their luck. Of course, this being a dark comedy, they are all rather weird or have bizarre events happen to them.

The movie sort of stars Craig Ferguson as the motel caretaker. Constantly high, he is still mourning the loss of his wife who fell off the Maid of the Mist during their honeymoon. Caroline Dhavernas is the waitress at the local café. She is running away from her current boyfriend and not really mourning the loss of her philandering husband who was mauled by a bear. Other characters include a young couple trying to get their baby back from social services, a middle-aged couple having financial problems, a mad Ukrainian restaurant owner, and Kevin Pollack as the local sleazy entrepreneur.

The performances in Niagara Motel are all very good although Kevin Pollack plays the usual Pollack role in the usual Kevin Pollack clothes. The problem is that there are a few too many characters and not enough story to go around. Gary Yates tries his best with this adaptation of a George F. Walker play but the transition from play to movie does not quite work. This dramady has lost its theatrical origins but one wonders if that was such a good idea.

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