He's an illiterate loner (and eccentric inventor) and she's a widowed factory worker, in a blue-collar romance that winds up in white-collar wedlock: i.e., double happiness. Or double dippiness. Harriet Frank, Jr., and Irving Ravetch, veteran scriptwriters and card-carrying Hemophiliac Liberals, have polished the screenplay to a slippery slickness ("You ask yourself, 'Have I got a name if I can't write it? Am I a human being if I can't read it?' "), and director Martin Ritt, their frequent collaborator, has coated it in a honeyed varnish: not a speck of grit. Robert De Niro's reticent inwardness, however, suits the role and wears well, while Jane Fonda's startled-fawn act wore out a long time ago, and is the more unbecoming on a person of her age. Not for the first time has she managed to make the portrayal of a social inferior seem an occasion of noblesse oblige. With Martha Plimpton. (1990) — Duncan Shepherd
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