Long before Sex In the City (Longer than I care to admit), I had a “thing” for Kim Cattrall. It goes back 20 years now, (Just typing that makes me wince) to the summer of 1987. That was the year Kim, playing the role of Ema ‘Emmy’ Hesire, stole my heart in the movie Mannequin.
Now, the 80′s were known for their cheesy, campy summer movies, and this one is no exception. I like Andrew McCarthy, if for no other reason than he is predictable. He (it would seem) has a very limited range as an actor, either that or he was simply typecast into the same role repeatedly, but either way, you know your going to get a silly character, that Andrew managed to pull of time and again with precision that the two dimensional character he plays does not really give most people the time to appreciate, because he plays these roles so well.
The story follows Jonathan Switcher (McCarthy), a constantly out of work artist that is going nowhere fast. One of his failed endeavors was working in a mannequin factory, where he “creates a masterpiece of a mannequin” Of course this takes him entirely too long, and he is fired from this job, just like every other he has attempted.
The mannequin, ends up in the display window of ‘Prince & Co,’ a Macy’s like, ailing department store. When Jonathan saves the life of the
owner (Estelle Getty), he is repaid with a job as a stock clerk.
When he sneaks to go look at his former creation, the mannequin comes to life. “Emmy” (Cattral) who we are introduced to with a short scene at the beginning of the movie, is from ancient Egyptian, and was granted by the gods to be whisked away from that time period in search of one more suitable for her.
Jonathan is the only one that can see her alive, which of course leads to some hilarious situations as well as suspicion and rumors from other employees of the store. With Emmy as his inspiration, and with her assistance together they create the most stunning store display windows around. Fellow designer ‘Hollywood’ Montrose (Meshach Taylor), being a fellow “artiste” begs Jonathan to help mold him. (For the record, this movie is worth watching for the outstanding and uproariously funny job that Taylor does in this supporting role alone). Meanwhile they must avoid dealing with Felix (G.W. BAILEY), an overzealous security guard and his dog ‘Rambo’ who is tasked by a mole in Price and Co (played by James Spader) to find out the secret of Switchers success.
The success of the window displays puts a cramp into the plans of the company that was planning on buying out Prince & Co, and the owner of the other store B.J Wert with the help of his mole and the inept Felix attempt to bribe and/or blackmail Switcher away. In a last ditch effort to get him away they decide to steal him mannequin (but since Felix cannot actually identify the “one”, they must take them all).
Can Jonathan get her back before she is destroyed along with the other mannequins? Can Prince & Co. be saved? Well for that you will just have to watch.