Matthew Lickona 2:57 p.m., May 17
The reunion of the stars and director of Pretty Woman (not to forget supporting actor Hector Elizondo) is a Nineties-style screwball comedy, tolerable to the degree that you can tolerate the two stars. For many, presumably, that will be highly. Julia Roberts's constant sending-out of signals in an effort to explain herself and endear herself is what many others might call counterproductive. At the very least, the "funny face" she produces on demand -- that of a duckbill platypus -- reveals a new facet of her talent. Richard Gere, if anything, surpasses her in self-consciousness and conceit, chiefly because he tries less hard (no "funny face"). Watching this pair of preeners finding and falling for one another is not the most passion-stirring spectacle, although the idea behind it, as screwball ideas go, seems all right. He's a divorced, mildly misogynistic columnist for USA Today, with a pet cat called Italics; she's the proprietor of a small-town hardware store, with a sideline as a designer of funky lamps, and she has literally run away from the altar three times. When, up against a deadline, the newspaperman dashes off a column about her, exaggerating the number of her flights and not bothering to check any facts, she gets him fired. And so off he goes -- to her hometown, to await vindication at her next scheduled nuptials, to tumble for her himself. If they were the young Irene Dunne and the young Melvyn Douglas, the idea would likely have seemed quite good. With Joan Cusack and Rita Wilson; directed by Garry Marshall. 1999.
— Duncan Shepherd
- Rated PG