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Film / Maxie

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Maxie is a supernatural comedy film released in 1985.

Nick and Jan, a boring yuppie couple, discover that their San Francisco home was inhabited sixty years earlier by a would-be silent movie star named Maxie Malone. The thing is, Maxie never left. Now the ghost of Maxie, the exciting flapper girl of the '20s, is possessing the body of Jan, the boring yuppie housewife of the '80s. Hilarity Ensues.

Glenn Close (pre-Fatal Attraction) plays both Jan and Maxie. Mandy Patinkin plays Nick.


This film contains examples of:

  • Boy Meets Ghoul: Boy meets ghost inhabiting the body of his wife. How romantic.
  • Chained to a Railway: While in Jan's body, Maxie gets an acting part which involves this. She's meant to be rescued by a man on horseback, but technical difficulties result in him being replaced by a Heroic Dog. Maxie is disappointed to discover that this "film" is actually just a deodorant commercial.
  • Christianity Is Catholic: The church Jan works at is Catholic, although this may just be to set up the exorcism plot line.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: Of course, it's meant to be funny when Maxie forces herself on an unwilling Nick.
  • The '80s: The present era. Notable because it's being contrasted with the 1920s and also because this movie is really quite '80s.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: Maxie is, of course, a '20s flapper in the '80s. This mostly consists of her using a lot of '20s slang, but there is some humor mined from her not understanding the '80s. However, she doesn't even realize how much time has passed until she sees that her friend Trudy is now an old woman and that's a fair ways into the movie.
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  • The Flapper: Maxie, of course. Trudy is implied to have been one back in the day.
  • "Friends" Rent Control: In the words of Roger Ebert:
    Jan is an absolutely normal San Francisco woman. She lives in a big landmark Victorian house, she's married to a librarian, and she works as the secretary to the local Catholic bishop. (So far, all that's wrong with this picture is the landmark Victorian house, which Jan and her husband, Nick, could not afford unless he owned the library and she were the bishop.)
  • The Future Is Shocking: Inverted. This '20s flapper is, if anything, too sexually emboldened for the '80s or at least for Jan's quiet, wholesome life.
  • Hollywood Exorcism: In a parody of The Exorcist, Jan's Catholic bishop boss attempts to arrange a visit from the exorcist for her in order to get rid of Maxie. This plot line is never actually resolved. Nick and Jan miss the visit from the exorcist when they head off for Hollywood, but there's no logical reason the issue wouldn't still exist after that.
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  • One Dialogue, Two Conversations: Throughout the film, there's a subplot about a priest who keeps getting distracted by women's bodies. At one point, he tries to talk about his problem with Jan, using an I Have This Friend... strategy. His ambiguous wording makes Jan think that he's talking about her own problem with being possessed by Maxie, resulting in this trope.
  • The Roaring '20s: Maxie is from this era
  • The Show Goes Hollywood: The last half hour of the movie or so involves this trope as Jan/Maxie gets the part of Cleopatra in what's said to be a remake of Cleopatra.
  • Stock Footage: The clip of Maxie in the fictional '20s film Flapper Melodies is actually a clip of Carole Lombard in The Campus Vamp.
  • Unfinished Business: Inconveniently, Maxie's is to be a movie star
  • Uptight Loves Wild: Nick and Maxie

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