easy money 
the premise of this movie is simple, and rather silly. if monty, played by the crack-up rodney dangerfield, can change is hard-drinking, smoking, wise-ass, gambling ways he gets to inherit his mother-in-law's wealth. the whole plot of the movie hinges on the question: can our man do it?
does bear shit stink? it's fun to watch dangerfield, and co-star joe pesci, clown around and mis-behave. dangerfield was a terrific comedic talent that is rare at any time; an older dude whose life is the punchline because he gets, in his dangerfield's own words, 'no respect'.
maybe so. who am i to argue with his thesis. dangerfield's persona was the everyman prole who couldn't catch a break or someone's cold. what strikes me is the dymanic between dangerfield's mother-in-law and dangerfield that aproximates class warfare. we have old blue-blood money pitched against ruddy individualism. dangerfield spouts no ideology but is an argument for spontaneous living. while his mother-in-law examplifies the desire for base control of her wealth, her environment and finally dangerfield who cannot be contained.
it's instructive to recall our obsessions with wealth 30 years ago. the new conservative thinking espoused by reagan was ascendant. there was a tv show called lifestyles of the rich and famous and some of the nighttime soap operas on tv were chronicles of rich and powerful families. one can argue that the proles have always been obsessed with the rich. it was fitzgerald who told us that the rich were different than you and me. in the '80s somehow it seemed that the obsessions became two-sided. no longer were the rich distant, aloof and unknowable. the rich were right in the spotlight and their hunger for the control of people's working and living lives became more evident.
of course all that is theorizing and not very good theory at that. yet there was a change in dymanic between the haves and the have-less that began in the '80s and is illustrated by this flick. for example the last words uttered by dangerfield's mother-in-law is, 'now i have him under my control', uttered in an oxbridge tone that screams of old money. what happpens next is for you to find out. orwell told us rather darkly that only proles and animals are free. that is not always the case. this movie was of its time and is still timely. when you get to the conclusion you might, because there is always hope --right? --, cheer as you laugh.