It’s Michael J. Fox‘s birthday! To mark the occasion, here are five of his overlooked or lesser-known performances (that aren’t Back to the Future). Check some of these out!
Doc Hollywood (1991)
I think this might be the Michael J. Fox film I saw after the Back to the Future trilogy. Fox plays a hotshot doctor hoping to make it big in the world of plastic surgery. An unfortunate turn of events lands him in a small town doing 32 hours of community service. While there he eventually falls in love with both the town and a girl. Yes, Doc Hollywood is the movie that Pixar’s Cars ripped off. But Doc Hollywood has better acting with Fox’s charm being the one factor holding this picture together.
The Secret of My Success (1987)
Easily my favorite Fox film after Back to the Future. Fox plays Brantley Foster who masquerades as Carlton Whitfield, an executive at a financial firm. Most of the comedy stems from Foster trying to keep his two identities a secret from his co-workers and relatives (who own the firm). It also features that song “Oh Yeah” that is better known for appearing in Ferris Bueller.
Life with Mikey (1993)
Michael J. Fox as a former child star turned talent agent; this is the ultimate career what-if? I finally got around to watching Life with Mikey this year and I found it to be both comedic, heartfelt, and underrated. The 1990s saw Fox transition back into a TV star with Spin City, but films like Life with Mikey show that he could still be a leading man given the right script. With a supporting cast that includes Nathan Lane and David Krumholtz, this is one film that should be on your watchlist if you’re a fan of Fox.
For Love or Money (1993)
I rewatched just a few weeks ago and while it is a run-of-the-mill romantic-comedy, it’s elevated by the presence of Fox. Honestly, a lot of films headlined by Fox would be largely forgotten if not for his involvement. This film has a lot of great character moments, but overall the romance feels forced and the ending is rushed. However, if you’re tired of watching Teen Wolf and Back to the Future to get your Fox fix, For Love or Money is definitely worth popping in, especially with a partner who enjoys any quality of rom-coms.
Casualties of War (1989)
Michael J. Fox in a rare serious role. Casualties is set during the Vietnam War, based on a true story, and directed by Brian De Palma. Fox plays Private First Class Max Eriksson who witnesses the kidnapping, rape, and murder of a Vietnamese woman by a squad of American soldiers. Fox gives an award-worthy performance and holds his own ground alongside other acclaimed actors like Sean Penn, John C. Reilly, and John Leguizamo. If you’re looking for something different from Fox, this is the film to watch. Don’t skip this one just because it isn’t a comedy. Fox nails this role and owns every scene he is in. Honestly, I’d love to see Fox in more roles like this.
What are some of your favorite films to feature birthday boy Michael J. Fox?