A high-flying trapeze artist is in Mexican looking for work as a lounge singer. Stop if you’ve heard that one already. Fun in Acapulco features the King of Rock ‘n Roll, Elvis Presley, as well as several winking hare-brained rapid-fire references to what it’s like to be king.
He’s Mike Windgren (a joy to hear enunciated by Latinos), a former boat worker and yes, circus act (now afraid of heights), who is stuck in the title town and looking to make ends meet on a short work permit.
That’s not nearly enough plot to stuff under a sombrero, but hey, it’s an Elvis movie!
And that means…lots of hip-shaking and enough lower register vibrato crooning to not only carry the day, but likely the month depending on your affinity for his music, here exclusively accompanied by mariachi musicians who are having a whale of a time.
Luckily, Mike Windgren isn’t whingin’ but getting down to business getting his singing career rolling. And he’s got his very own Colonel Tom Parker, a pint-sized talent booker, Raoul, a little kid who gets club/hotel owners to compete against one another for the services of the gringo “cantante” lounge lizard.
Such is the power of Presley that they book him hearing-unheard (if sight unseen can be an expression…).
And we can’t expect the King to be all alone…
So there are two fetching queens vying for his attention, Bern-born Bond babe Ursula Andress as Euro-royalty, and Tijuana-born model and ex-fling Elsa Cárdenas to add some juice.
Unfortunately for Fun in Acapulco, the cheesy green screening ain’t so fun and the the town, the “Pearl of the Pacific,” a favorite vacation spot for Sinatra, JFK, and Elizabeth Taylor to name a few, is rendered extraordinarily cheaply here.
Still, the kinda awesome Leiber and Stoller “Bossa Nova Baby,” hits all the right notes as Elvis steps away from his kicks to bang out a few notes on the piano.
**1/2 (out of 5)
[CHECK OUT OUR PODCAST DISCUSSION OF FUN IN ACAPULCO ON THE REALLY AWFUL MOVIES PODCAST!]