Big Trouble: Toads, Snakes, Bombs, Comedy
what's with the gator?  
© 1999 Penguin Putnam Inc  
Dave Barry is a comedy empire unto himself. The Pulitzer-winning columnist has conquered newspapers and television (the sitcom "Dave's World" was based on his life), and now his first novel, "Big Trouble," has been adapted into a film. Set in Barry's beloved Miami, "Big Trouble" is an intricate, madcap crime caper that, at varying times, focuses on a stolen nuclear weapon, a 13-foot python, a homeless hero, the Russian Mafia, a teenaged love affair, a hijacked airplane, and a poisonous, dog-taunting toad. It's the kind of story that requires a big, funny ensemble, and that's exactly what it attracted. Tim Allen, Rene Russo, Tom Sizemore, Janeane Garofalo, and Stanley Tucci are the "name" stars attached to the film, but a slew of other players will also appear.

Barry's strength has always been his effortless wit — unexpected, zinging asides are a trademark — but there are few directors who can translate this wit to the screen. Barry Sonnenfeld is one of them. Sonnenfeld's last film, "Wild Wild West," was an embarrassing bomb, but Sonnenfeld's other films — "Men in Black," "Get Shorty" — are marked by slick comedic timing. "Big Trouble's" garish locale, intricately-drawn plot, and entwined ensemble are perfect for Sonnenfeld, providing him with the best raw materials since "Get Shorty." "Trouble's" other asset is its lack of special effects: There'll be no giant mechanical arachnids or 19th-century doo-dads to distract the director.

Set to premiere next summer, "Trouble" could be a sleeper hit, especially if marketed as an alternative to action fare and gross-out flicks. outlines "Trouble's" competition and provides ample information on the film. Additionally, has an entertaining interview with Dave Barry that delves into the writing of the book and relays Barry's thoughts about the film.
Posted: 11/01/00