New movie releases this week include Katherine Heigl’s return to the big screen, plus The Promise, Truman, and more
Matthew Lickona 6 p.m., April 21
Based on the David Mamet play, Sexual Perversity in Chicago, adapted by Tim Kazurinsky and Denise DeClue, and directed by first-timer Edward Zwick. The movie, wherever it gets it from, and however deeply buried beneath slickness, cuteness, soupiness, pop songs, montages, and assorted froufrou, has something a little special about it: a special vision of sexual politics, a special angle on the subject, a special breadth of scope. It gives one plenty of cause to be pessimistic about the chances of any man and any woman to make a go of it together, and the soaringly optimistic ending gives no cause to change that opinion. This is, in large part, the fault of mistaken casting in at least three of the four main roles. There is no inherent reason why any of the characters of such a film need to be charismatic and sympathetic, or anything but shallow and self-obsessed -- no reason, that is, except that the filmmakers are going to drop all pretense of honest observation and throw themselves into heated favoritism. Rob Lowe, Demi Moore, and Jim Belushi inspire little such favoritism in the viewer; Elizabeth Perkins, a little more, but mainly because she doesn't try so hard. 1986.