Jonathan Switcher (Bratpacker Andrew McCarthy) is an aspiring young artist who builds store mannequins. He’s especially proud of one of his more lifelike creations but loses the mannequin to the Prince & Co department store.
To be near his creation, he takes a night job at the store. His fondness turns to outright hormonal flush when the wooden woman suddenly springs to life.
The dummy’s ability to transform herself instantly from a wooden prop to a flesh-and-blood human is explained, more or less, in a sequence that gives new meaning to the word “lame” – something to do with ancient Egypt, a dung dealer and “the Gods”.
The action then centres on Jonathan’s relationship with Emmy the mannequin (Kim Cattrall), but a variety of subplots keep scooping the action: Jonathan and Emmy must dodge warring department store execs (Estelle Getty and Carole Davis), a yuppie middle manager who is trying to sabotage the store (James Spader), and a crazed security guard (G.W. Bailey) who patrols the store with a cowardly bulldog named Rambo.
Assisting Jonathan is a flamboyant window dresser and aspiring drag queen named Hollywood (Meshach Taylor).
It’s goober comedy all the way, but Mannequin is not without a certain stupid charm. It’s the kind of film you can have a few giggles with – but you wouldn’t want your friends to see you.
Most of Mannequin was filmed at Philadelphia’s John Wanamaker department store. The scenes for the rival store (Illustra) were filmed at Boscov’s in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania.
Emmy (Ema Hesire)
Mannequin Factory Boss
Hans the Maitre d’
Jane Carol Simms