Wayne’s World (1992) [Female Filmmaker Friday] 

Wayne’s World, Wayne’s World, Wayne’s World, Party Time, Excellent! By now, everybody knows the story here and if you don’t, go now, find the film, and watch it. Now! Ok, so as a reminder, Wayne and Garth host a community cable tv show from Wayne’s basement, go out to the local diner, go to shows, drive around in the Mirthmobile, love metal, and are always down for an adventure.  

Based on characters by Mike Myers, written by Bonnie Turner and Terry Turner, and directed by one Penelope Spheeris, Wayne’s World is a masterpiece of 1990s comedy with endless quotable lines. The writing here is solid, and the directing is just perfect. This film could have easily fallen into juvenile jokes or even sleaze in some sequences, but the work by Penelope Spheeris here brings it all together in the right tone and with the right balance of laughs and heart. The film has had a lasting popularity and a lot of this is from how it was directed and of course from the writing.  

Another aspect of the film’s lasting popularity is the acting. The performances by Mike Myers and Dana Carvey are a big reason to watch this. They know these characters; they are these characters. The way they bring Wayne and Garth to the screen is the only way one could think of bringing them really. They are the only Wayne and the only Garth there could be. Add to these two Tia Carrere as a sort of straight woman, the one whose part is not as filled with jokes, but whose part is completely central to the film and the story. Her work here is beyond hot babe, she is the perfect bouncing board for Wayne and she knows how to bring a crowd’s attention to her while performing. Her performance is a bit of the clue that keeps the story together. Without her, this would have been a whole other movie. Also needing to be noted, the casting of Alice Cooper as himself. He is the perfect man for the job here, he is believably the man Wayne and Garth worship. 

Now, the film’s look is polished with cinematography by Theo van de Sande and editing by Malcolm Campbell. Together these create an energetic, music-nerdy film that keeps the attention throughout no matter what is going on. The sequence where they lipsync to Bohemian Rhapsody in the Mirthmobile is perfectly directed, filmed, and edited. Considering this almost was not the song used, the insistance by Mike Myers that it be, along with everyone else’s talent and timing gave the film a memorable moment that even those who have yet to see the film still remember. 

Wayne’s World shows that the style of a strong director with talent at every single level. This review is more fangirling than proper review in spots and well, it doesn’t matter. Wayne’s World is amazing, watch it if you haven’t seen it yet, the blu rays are pretty cheap to order online. It’s the kind of movie that prove that women have been making films for as long as films have been made and that they have been making some amazing films at that. Penelope Spheeris has a more than venerable career with lots of more than worthy documentaries, comedies, and music videos under her directorial belt. She was and is the only choice for Wayne’s World. 

Party on!