Surprise, this is not an article about the phrase made famous by Al Dvorin. It is a review of a movie of the same name that went straight to video. I figure you ought to get the word on it now while the DVD is still available. A year from now it may be hard to find.
Elvis Has Left The Building is a quirky little film starring Kim Basinger, who still looks terrific at age 50+. Her character is Harmony Jones, a traveling cosmetics saleslady. The male lead is John Corbett. Remember him from TV’s Northern Exposure or the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding? Among the lesser players are Angie Dickenson, Annie Potts, and several hundred of the worst looking Elvis impersonators you ever saw. Even gorgeous Denise Richards looks pretty bad in an Elvis wig and outfit.
At the beginning of the film, a legend appears on screen:
At the time of his death there were 3 known Elvis impersonators. Today there are over 50,000.
If that figure continues to grow at its present rate, by the year 2012, one out of every four people on the planet will be an Elvis impersonator.
In the face of this potential threat to world sanity a miracle occurred, and her name was Harmony Jones.
If you think the movie might not be very positive toward Elvis impersonators, you are right. I wonder if there really are 50,000 of them in the world now. Anyway, Harmony Jones comes in contact with a string of Elvis impersonators who all kick the bucket in weird ways. Believe it or not, the movie’s light tone continues very well in spite of these demises. Elvis impersonators are treated as expendable. (Remember they pose a threat to world sanity.)
Harmony believes she is transmitting some evil jinx to these men, so she tries to avoid contact with any more Elvises. John Corbett’s hunky character is not an Elvis impersonator, but Harmony sees his soon-to-be ex-wife’s Elvis jump suit in his car and spends half the movie trying to avoid him. He is very persistent, and the ensuing escapades lead to a happy ending. At least, happy for them. Several hundred Elvis impersonators don’t fare so well.
Elvis Has Left The Building is not classic cinema, but I liked it. There’s an offbeat love story and a bunch of laughs (the gay guy is an absolute hoot). Kim Basinger is perfect in her role. Tom Hanks adds a short cameo appearance as the head in the mailbox. That’s too difficult to explain, so just watch for it.
I recommend you see Elvis Has Left The Building. Unless you have a family member who is an Elvis impersonator, you will enjoy it.
© 2006 Philip R Arnold www.elvisblog.net