Directed by Sam Weisman
Written by Marc Lawrence, based on the screenplay by Neil Simon
Starring Steve Martin, Goldie Hawn, John Cleese, Ernie Sabella, Mark McKinney
My Advice: Matinee.
Henry Clark (Martin) and his wife Nancy (Hawn) are in a rut. Not that they'd admit it, but they are. Their daughter wants to be an actress, God love her, and their son (Oliver Hudson) has just left home for Europe, leaving them with a bad case of Empty Nest Syndrome. Henry has an interview coming up in New York City and the two go there to be together and get Henry his new job. However, they have to deal with the horrors of hallucinogens, Andrew Lloyd Webber, a half-crazed hotel manager (Cleese) and most amazingly of all...each other.
Paramount was smart to cast the three leads the way they did, because otherwise the thing would have been flat and rather uninteresting. Lawrence's screenplay is frightfully uneven, taking you from gutbusting laughter, to really well-acted moments between Martin and Hawn, to really badly-written acting-best-they-can-with-the-material moments between Martin and Hawn. Having not seen the 1970 original on which this is based, I can't say that the faults were built into the primary material. But I can say that the three leads work over and above the words and make it work. Their hilarity keeps your mind away from the movie's problems and keep it a fun outing.
Luckily, between the three of them this film has good matinee potential, if you're dying for an above-average comedy with Cleese in full drag. Otherwise, rent it.
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