TO BE OR NOT TO (1982)

Starts out decently enough, and surprisingly different for Mel Brooks to direct a remake: something that isn't a parody of a serious genre or a humorous take on historical events...

But then the set up, of a husband and wife who are famous stage performers in Poland who, when Hitler takes over, has to close up their theater, becomes an overlong skit involving Brooks and real-life wife Anne Bancroft, with the aid of a sad throwaway role by ANIMAL HOUSE star Tim Matheson as a love-struck soldier: The entire menagerie playing an elaborate scheme on the Nazis that gets way too complicated for it's own good in this remake of a Jack Benny 1940's vehicle (when ensemble comedies were the norm)... Not only do all the wires get tangled up within each other, there's way too many to begin with. And it's understandable turning the Nazis into complete buffoons, especially when spoofing them... but in doing so it takes away any valid threat, making it meaningless to have to trick or defeat them in the first place. Score: **1/2


year: 1980
cast: Jan-Michael Vincent, Cybill Shepard
director: Greydon Clark
rating: **

Two children, a boy and girl, and a farmer witness a UFO in a small rural town (where else?) and then... years later... one of the kids, now a grown up played by Cybill Shepard, returns to the hick town (she was only passing through originally) where she hooks up with Jan Michael-Vincent, a local handsome cop who turns out was the other kid who saw the spaceship. This is a bad movie but it's quite a treat seeing Vincent Shavelli, as the farmer who, unlike the other two witnesses, became a psychotic killer with an atomic double-edged flashlight that mutilates cattle and people... who Jan and Cybill have to kill before he kills anyone else. And the special effects make Sid & Marty Krofft seem like George Lucas in comparison, but overall, it's somewhat entertaining.


title: THE FIRM
year: 1993
cast: Tom Cruise, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Gene Hackman, Wilford Brimley, Hal Holbrook, Gary Busey, David Strathaim, Holly Hunter, Jerry Hardin, Steven Hill, Ed Harris, Paul Calderan, Tobin Bell, Terry Kinney, Paul Sorvino
rating: ***

Tom Cruise is the best fighter pilot. Tom Cruise is the best bartender. So why not be the best lawyer (actually, one person got a higher score on the bar exam, but he probably cheated). This film, directed by Sydney Pollock and based on yet another dolphin-lawyer-swimming-in-shark-filled-water book by John Grisham, is stylistic, classy, and perfectly vapid. Cruise, straight out of Harvard (yet he had to work hard to make it through, and, like all of Cruise's characters, has a troubled past he must make up for), gets a lucritive job at a firm that not only caters to the mob, but is part of their own crime syndicate. After he and wife Jeanne Tripplehorn (in an effective performance aimed at opening night audiences) are given a new house, a new car, and a great new paycheck, Cruise, after realizing the firm's corruptness, slowly figures out a loophole to beat them at their own game. What he does to strike back is confusing and would probably take a lawyer to understand (or someone who read the book), but it doesn't matter. Fun is fun, and this movie, if taken too seriously, could be thoroughly despised. Especially if you ask certain questions: Why would the firm's lead hitman be over six feet tall with shockingly blonde hair and albino eyes (Tobin Bell) i.e. easy to remember? Or why is Cruise's character able to do acrobatic sommersaults (in perhaps one of the silliest moments in film history)? So just give in to this handsomely filmed lightweight thriller with a straight-through piano score and some great actors dumbing down for the sake of being in a Tom Cruise blockbuster. Gene Hackman, as Cruise's personal mentor... a charming, womanizing lawyer who loves the vacationing aspect of his job... David Strathaim, as Cruise's glibly laidback jailbird brother... Terry Kinney, as a seemingly innocent lawyer who initially puts Cruise at ease... And Gary Busey as a fast talking private eye help elevate things: at least for as long as they're on screen. But the show belongs to Cruise, who, as usual, delivers this pizza with tons of cheese and, unless you're expecting steak or caviar, it'll fill you up as needed.


title: STAR TREK
year: 2009
cast: Chris Pine
rating: **

While this was better than the NEW Star Wars prequels (episode 1, 2, and 3), I had the same problem in the continuity factor. In other words, when watching the original Star Wars: A New Hope, seeing Obi Wan Kenobi (Alec Guiness) and imagining him doing all the things Ewan McGregor did in the first three films... was impossible. And when I go back and watch the original Star Trek TV show, or the movies starring the original cast, I will now have to wrap my brain around the fact that Captain Kirk, as a preteen, listened to The Beastie Boys. And that Spock dealt with bullies on his home planet - which weren't very different from the ones cookie-cutter teen flicks (I realize, this is mentioned on the original show, but the way they carried it out was so... after-school-special). Or that Uhura had a green martian roomate who Captain Kirk, before he was Captain, was trying to bang in an apartment that looked straight outta Melrose Place. I realize the William Shatner "Kirk" is known to be quite a ladies man - but seeing Jim in a trendy nightclub with rave music thumping in the backdrop just doesn't fit in the Star Trek canon... at least not mine. The first ten minutes, involving Kirk's father saving the lives of 800 people, including his wife who was pregnant with you-know-who... right before intrepidly dying on a monitor viewed by his weeping wife... was pure melodrama straight out bad made-for-cable sci-fi. The villain looked and acted like a WWF wrestler. And I'm not sure what the plot is other than "blow the big bad thing up that destroys planets" (kinda like The Death Star, huh?). Chris Pine looked perfect for the role of a young Kirk but seemed too much like a jocky lughead than anything else. And the special effects... going back to my problem with the new Star Wars... was just too much. I always dug the cerebral-led aspect of the original series (and movies)... mind over action... kind of like a chess match... And, so, having these youthful, energetic characters being part of a high-octane thriller... And the Enterprise darting through space like a Tie Fighter... just didn't fit with me. I'll take corny acting, dated special effects and a slow moving plot to exploding eye-candy any day.


cast: 1987
cast: Debra Winger, Tom Berenger, John Mahoney, Ted Levine, John Hurt, Richard Libertini, Albert Hall
rating: ***1/2



year: 1996
cast: Jim Varney, Erika Eleniak, Deidrich Bader, Lily Tomlin, Dabney Coleman, Cloris Leachman, Lea Thompson, Rob Schneider, Mickey Jones, Dolly Parton, Buddy Ebson
director: Penelope Spheeris
rating: **

Hail the late Jim Varney. With the exception of Erika Eleniak, he's the only actor playing a "Clampett", those rags-to-new-rich hillbillies, like a real person and not a hammy imitation of the original characters. Deidrich Bader, with fake gapping grin, who I really liked in OFFICE SPACE, plays the dim-witted cousin Jed like a cartoon from hell. Cloris Leachman goes overboard as granny; then again, that's her style: in-keeping with her Mel Brooks roles. Of the outsiders, Lily Tomlin's take on the tightwad bankmarm "Ms. Hathaway" is worse than Bader. And Dabney Coleman, as the bank president, merely collects a paycheck. Cult Director Penelope Spheeris tries her best to help the convuluted story, of the Clampetts being swindled by two gold diggers (Rob Schnieder, annoying as ever, and Lea Thompson), work... and it does at times, again thanks to Varney and Eleniak for, as already mentioned, "keeping it real". But compared to something like "The Brady Bunch Movie", this is nothing more than a fast moving bullet to the head: in one ear, out the next. And, at times, it feels like one too. PS With a Dolly Parton cameo, it's almost a complete 9 TO 5 reunion.


title: PERFECT
year: 1986
cast: John Travolta, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jann Wenner, Laraine Newman, Marilu Henner, Carly Simon, Doug Campbell
normal movie rating: ***
bad movie rating: *****

This movie is perfect. A lean (and somewhat strung-out looking) John Travolta is a writer for Rolling Stone magazine (you know, the one with 90% ads) perched on a controversial, and dangerous, story about a computer mogul accused of drug dealing, and in the meantime centers his periphrial (but soon to be full) attention on "Sports Connection" (i.e. "Sports Erection"), an exercise club/singles hangout where he falls for Jamie Lee Curtis, who runs the best darn aerobics class on earth, and... This movie is perfect. You just have to see it for yourself. Gay men pretending to be straight and straight men seeming oh so gay. Horrible music, hilariously addicting dialog, and Rolling Stone Magazine's Jann Wenner playing himself but with a different name and aware-of-the-camera bad acting that's beyond description. The eighties in all its wonderfully colorful, corny splendor and then some... It's all here, folks. And through the awesome stupidity you'll find yourself amazingly involved in the moronic, sweaty fun. Unfortunately, the last twenty minutes, when Travolta's first story reemerges, turning the neon fluff into courtroom melodrama, things peter out. But no matter, this is an airhead classic you can watch a million times; the epitome of what's called a "guilty pleasure".


title: HEROES
year: 1977
cast: Henry Winkler, Sally Field, Harrison Ford, Val Avery, John Cassavetes, Ron Rifkin, Al Rubin
rating: **1/2



title: REAL LIFE
year: 1979
cast: Albert Brooks, Charles Grodin, Francis Lee McCann, J.A. Preston, David Speilberg, James L. Brooks, Johnny Haymer, Matthew Tobin
writer/director: Albert Brooks
rating: **

The worst thing about this Albert Brooks film where Albert Brooks (supposedly) plays Albert Brooks is Albert Brooks, going completely overboard developing and directing a reality TV show. Brooks sets up camera and crew inside a middle class suburban house in Arizona, and things fall apart quickly, to the point where there's not much of a story arc. Charles Grodin and Frances Lee McCann are fun to watch as the uptight patriarchs, and both seem blandly realistic, as is intended. The concept here is smarter than the outcome: to show not only the reality show participants (years before the genre became commonplace) but also the REAL people who film that show and how both collide. Unfortunately they collide a bit too much, too soon, and when other elements are introduced - like a news station following up on a story by a disgruntled psychologist (J.A. Preston) who quit the film in progress - or Brooks having several nervous breakdowns and eventually committing arson... what could have been light and funny ends up completely irritating and ironically unREAListic, although there are a few funny moments. Brooks would really find his niche a few years later with LOST IN AMERICA.


year: 1984
cast: Robert DeNiro, Meryl Streep, Harvey Keitel, Jane Kaczmarek
director: Ulu Grosbard
rating: **

Robert DeNiro and Meryl Streep are two married, successful New York suburbanites who, after seeing each other on the same train, meet in a store where they start a conversation ("Don't we ride the same train?") and accidentally take each other's gifts. On Christmas Morning, DeNiro's wife gets Streep's husbands gift (a book on boating); and Streep's husband gets DeNiro's wife's gift (a book on gardening). That's the most clever aspect of this bland romance full of mumbling dialog and uncomfortably-silent conversations between two people who, although they have perfect marriages and beautiful children, should know better: but just can't help themselves. The major love scene is as sexy as mom and dad humping on a rainy afternoon, but, at times, the snail-paced build-up has a sort of mellow voyeuristic quality liken to French cinema, only without any depth or purpose. Harvey Keitel plays DeNiro's recently-divorced buddy, and it's strange seeing the wily thugs from "Mean Streets" as upper-class Manhattan yuppies. The movie sort of happens for a while, and then it's done.


year: 1940
cast: George Raft, Ida Lupino, Humphry Bogart, Ann Sheridan, Alan Hale
rating: **1/2

Strange seeing Humphrey Bogart play second fiddle in any film (unless it stars James Cagney), this came out only a year before he become a top-billed sensation. George Raft and Bogart are truck driver brothers (who REALLY look like brothers) bullied by a mob syndicate... or something... causing trucks to crash and men to die. The special effects are really cool for 1940, including trucks driving off cliffs and exploding (models do wonders). If you can get past not seeing Bogart but for twenty minutes (and in a somewhat filler role), or trying to sustain disbelief that gorgeous gals like Ann Sheradin and Ida Lupino could be so in love with blockhead Raft - you'll enjoy this mildly entertaining "old movie". Ida Lupino steals the show after killing her millionaire husband (Alan Hale i.e. Skipper's Dad) and trying to frame Raft for it. She then goes bonkers in prison and thinks the doors (not the band, the things) want to kill her. Fun melodrama. Kick back and enjoy.


year: 1988
cast: Charlie Sheen, Michael Douglas, Martin Sheen, Hal Halbrook, Daryl Hannah
rating: ****

Oliver Stone had the perfect opportunity to mouthpiece his politics into this film about the greedy Wall Street traders, but he didn't... at least not in an obnoxious or obvious way. Perhaps because his father (whom the film's dedicated) was one, or that he wanted to make a movie that showed both sides equally, even though one side is pretty evil. Michael Douglas must be given credit for turning the villain into not only a likable character, but a logical one... given that you're hypnotized enough to think the way he does... That the more power you acquire, not matter who you have to screw, the better. Charlie Sheen, fresh from Stone's PLATOON set, plays a young wall street cold-call climber who, freshly under Douglas's wing, cuts corners and breaks the law in order to feed his new mentor information to get himself rich, and Douglas even richer. When Sheen gives Douglas inside information on an airline where his father - played by real life pop Martin Sheen - is on the board of directors, his soul is sold. And that's where the adventure begins. While Douglas won the Best Actor Oscar for the famous (or infamous) "Greed is Good" speech, the more subtle moments, as he tweaks Sheen into his puppet, are what truly shapes his now iconic character. Martin Sheen plays not only Charlie's dad, but Douglas's blue collar counterpart with perfect stubborn pride, and a scene involving father and son arguing about what Douglas's intentions are is quite intense. I think this is Oliver Stone's best film. While it can be, at times, somewhat silly and far-fetched, it's intense, involving, and fun as hell.


year: 1999
cast: Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Steve Zahn, Jean Stapleton, Dabney Coleman, John Randolph, Greg Kinnear, Parker Posey
rating: ***

Okay guys, if you really wanna pick up on a beautiful chick, one that looks like, say, Meg Ryan, trick her into thinking you're someone you're not on the computer via email, manipulate her mind and have her fall in love with the image of you as a writer sharing your innermost thoughts and daily routines after you, as your real self, shut down her family business and all her dreams along with it. Well, it worked for Tom Hanks, so why not? Pretty good chick flick overall, a remake of "The Shop Around the Corner" about two people who email each other without getting too personal; one (Hanks) owns a new big bookstore that sells discount books, the other (Ryan) owns a small old bookstore across the street that sells specialty books that cost a ton (still not sure if they're used or not); and as the Westerns say "There's not enough room for the both of us." The best moments are before Tom knows Meg's Meg as they're emailing back and forth, completely unaware of each other's identity and loathing one another in their business "non-net" lives. During the scam in which Tom manipulates Meg after finding out she's his web girl, things get too plot-heavy and complicated, and then at the end, after he comes clean, Meg falls in love much too easily. Hanks' performance is a bit constrained: he seems OVER the whole comedy thing at this point, which is kind of a bummer. I dug him in the eighties when he was lean and goofy, and not considered beyond such trivialities.


year: 2005
cast: Albert Brooks, Fred Thompson
writer/director: Albert Brooks
rating: ***

Post 911, Albert Brooks, playing himself - a borderline-has-been comedic-actor who really needs that "great role" - is hired by Washington to find out what makes Muslims laugh... to help bridge the gap between "us and them". He's sent to India (where there are hindus but also many muslims) to interview people, asking them what they think is funny. Well the movie isn't very funny but it is involving, as Brooks interviews people on the streets and sets up a comedy concert where he performs his improvisational routines that no one in the audience gets. That is, they understand English, but don't find him funny. He then goes to Pakistan, illegally through the border, and entertains hash-smoking soldiers who, unlike the Indians - and stoned out of their minds - love his routine. The Iranians catch wind of this and a war almost breaks out: a pasted-on b-story that never comes to fruition, and frankly is a distraction that doesn't need to be there. By the end, when Brooks is back home with a fictional wife and daughter, what have we learned? Nothing much, but for a bland mockumentary, it's decent enough; Brooks' signature non-polarizing yet completely obvious indifference to the natives providing the sole "punchline" throughout. Albert is older but not much wiser. His character - who is himself in this case, which makes no difference - hasn't changed. He still doesn't know what he has to offer, and is trying to discover himself and his purpose: the "mission" i.e. plot here is but a platform for him to do so, as usual. Not up to par with "Lost In America" or "Defending Your Life" but leagues above "Mother", "The Muse", and "The Scout".


title: BRUNO
year: 2009
cast: Sacha Baron Cohen
rating: ***

Putting aside the fact that every situation is contrived, and all the "participants" are obviously in on the joke, this is actually a funny movie about a gay Austrian wannabe fashionista's odyssey to become not just famous, but VERY famous. He does just about anything it takes, including becoming straight, for this seemingly impossible goal, and while the situations aren't always hilarious they are entertaining, and throughout the "skits", some of which are jabs at celebrities, like adopting a black child for publicity, and religion, like meeting with pastors who "make men straight", there is an actual love story that, bizarre as it seems in the buildup, becomes the very thing that bookmarks the film into something that feels legit despite the platform of setup, strikingly bogus interviews and confrontations. Just forget it's trying to seem real and you'll find yourself addicted to the main character's "stranger in a straight land" dilemma. The real humor lies in our hero Bruno's stubborn drive to keep his hectically flamboyant focus intact despite it working against him.


year: 2002
cast: Colin Hanks, Jack Black, Chevy Chase, Jane Adams
rating: *1/2

This movie suffers from what many modern (post 2000) slacker comedies are stricken with: the "Anything Goes" syndrome. There are few bounds in this independent film directed by Jake "Son of Lawrence" Kasdan, featuring cameos from Chevy Chase, Lily Tomlin and Lawrence's own stock actor, Kevin Kline. The story centers on a young man from... yep, Orange County, California (where I live), who spends his careless youth surfing and partying; then reads a book that "changes his life" and, along with a dream to become a writer, really wants to attend Stanford University to meet the book's author who works there. Along the way this desire (i.e. the plot) is outshined by the wacky side-characters, including two Beavis and Buttheadish surfer pals; a drunk mother (Catherine O'Hara) married to a crippled old man; a selfish father (John Lithgow) married to a gorgeous young "trophy"; and a stoner brother played by Jack Black (who's not in the movie as much as is promoted) - all vying to outdo each other on screen. When the main character - played by bland Colin Hanks, son of Tom - finally arrives at the college of his dreams, within ten minutes he's accidently given the dean of admissions (a portly Harold Ramis) enough "X" to blind a horse, and to top it off, his zany drugged-out brother (using every stoner cliche in the book including the usual "WOW!") burns the admissions building to the ground. Nothing really matters at this point, and yet we have another (drawn-out and totally useless) half-an-hour to go. All the things that should have been peripheral eccentricities, which end up leaping to the foreground of every scene, are symptoms of that disease I already mentioned: "Anything Goes"... Which can be, as in this case, fatal. That is, without that one cure, substance... Something this movie has very little of.


title: 2010
year: 1984
cast: Roy Scheider, Bob Balaban, John Lithgow, Keir Dullea
director: Peter Hymans
rating: *

Someone castrated HAL 9000! In this horrendous, preachy mess, Roy Schieder plays the role of "Dr. Heywood Floyd" in a cold war sequel to the Kubrick classic, and here we learn that Russians and Americans CAN get along... Pretty dated, huh? The unintentionally hilarious scenes involving astronaut "Dave Bowman" (Keir Dullea) returning to earth as a philosophical wraith, invisibly combing his mother's hair on her deathbed and speaking through a television set in place of newscaster Larry Carroll, are far more interesting than the ninety-minutes in space as the Americans and Russians "band together" above Jupiter, trying to figure out the purposely-confounding elements from the first film, that which was never intended to make sense, but rather, to imply. This turkey takes all those implications and throws them into an overlong, overblown mess that made us yearn to be wonderfully confused rather than preached at.


year: 1992
cast: Sally Kirkland, Nick Corri, Michael Greene, Jack Carter
rating: ***1/2

Sure there's a lot of steamy scenes, but this early-nineties Roger Corman production has a lot more going for it. Like Oscar-nominated actress (for 1987's ANNA) Sally Kirkland playing the bored trophy wife of rich man Michael Greene. While at a gas station, she meets hunky mechanic Jsu Garcia (then billed as Nick Corri). The two hit it off and really want to connect; especially Garcia, who makes every effort to do so. And by posing as a cable TV repairman, he talks his way into the bedroom where sexy Kirkland awaits. But what really excels this to greater heights is an action sequence involving Garcia, who's an actor on the side, being chased by mobsters and using this motivation in a scene from a movie (within the movie) with a similar plot line. But back to reality: what Garcia doesn't know is Kirkland (who's a personal friend of yours truly), like any effective Film Noir moll, hides a deep dark secret fueling a hidden, and perhaps lethal, agenda. And it takes a grade-A actress and actor to provide enough intrigue and intensity to make a B-movie really work.


year: 1991
cast: Kevin Kline, Danny Glover, Mary McDonnell, Jeremy Sisto, Steve Martin
rating: *

For those who think the horrific MAGNOLIA is the most pretentious movie ever made; as Richard Dreyfuss tells Robert Shaw in JAWS: "I got that beat." This movie, about rich and poor people in Los Angeles whose lives intertwine, all discussing their own philosophies of life, takes the pretentious nasal-gazing gold medal. The otherwise talented Lawrence Kasdan penned this do-gooder doozy with his wife, Meg. Kevin Kline's car breaks down in Inglewood and is almost killed by gangsters; Danny Glover, as a tow truck driver, saves him (the best scene herein); they become friends and we follow each of their (and their friends and families) lives and basically learn: we're in different sized boats in the same raging sea.  A Hollywood guilt movie, and godawful at that. Every sentence has a POINT; every camera angle an AGENDA: "I dare you to watch this and NOT LEARN SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR LIFE", is in parentheses throughout. As one character says: "People who excel at one thing think they know about everything." I think Lawrence and Meg might have been projecting here.


title: SLUMBER PARTY '57
year: 1976
cast: Deborah Winger, Rainbeaux Smith, Raphael Campos
rating: *1/2

This ultra low-budget drive-in flick, set in the fifties about five girls who meet in a mansion and discuss their first time, desperately needed a serial killer to pick them off one-by-one. Unfortunately, he never showed up. I'm sure Debra Winger isn't proud of this doozy. Some interesting camera work though. Great music. And pretty girls. Each loss-of-virginity story is shown in flashbacks. All are boring.


title: BABY BOOM
year: 1987
cast: Diane Keaton, Harold Ramis, Sam Shepard, James Spader, Sam Wanamaker, Victoria Jackson, Pat Hingle, Paxton Whitehead, Mary Gross
rating: ***

Classy late-eighties fare about a hard-driven business-woman played by Diane Keaton who has everything to gain in the corporate world until she inherits a baby, and then must juggle her executive life with that as a new, and quite reluctant, mother. After losing her yuppie boyfriend (Harold Ramis) and eventually her job (to an ass kissing weasel played by James Spader), she and baby move to a country home where the usual "nothing works in this house" havoc ensues, and she ends up making baby food with a plethora of apples in her spare time. Her hobby becomes a business and she's an overnight success, and then must choose between the simple life or returning to the big city. The best parts lie within the first half as she struggles with the baby, but the country story has its charm thanks to Sam Shepard as a genuinely nice Veterinarian providing a blossoming love story that never gets corny. Basically, it's a chick-flick that men won't mind being spoon-fed.


title: HOT DOG: THE MOVIE...
year: 1984
cast: Patrick Houser, David Naughton, Tracy Smith, John Patrick Reger, Shannon Tweed
rating: ***1/2

When an oversexed comedy centering on a particular sport has no real story or interesting characters, what do you have? The polar opposite of this totally entertaining ski/party flick, where the main character, a handsome young farm boy with dreams of glory, picks-up a gorgeous free-spirited hitchhiker on the way to a big competition, where they meet a bullying German who's a shoe-in for the coveted main prize; an "Otter" (from "Animal House") clone played by David "Just Getting A Paycheck For This role" Naughton... The Dr. Pepper guy who sang "Makin' It" and starred in the greatest (American) werewolf (in London) movie ever... And Shannon Tweed as a more-than-flirtatious sexpot. Amazing ski footage, endless parties and lots of skin never distracts from the plot... winning the big race... or the plight of the two central characters: to stick together no matter what temptation gets in their way.


title: CASUAL SEX?
year: 1988
cast: Leah Thompson, Victoria Jackson, Mary Gross, Andrew "Dice" Clay, Stephen Shellen, Jerry Levine
rating: **

Sometimes I wanna slap Woody Allen for popularizing the first person narration (character looking into the camera and narrating the movie i.e. breaking the fourth wall) because, even though he - and a few other filmmakers - did it well, it's often misused: like in the case of the John Cusack's "High Fidelity" and this sex comedy centering on two completely different girls: one a slut (Leah Thompson) the other a whiny baby-voiced prude (Victoria "One Trick Pony" Jackson). The slut doesn't know she's a slut and the prude doesn't want to be either. The movie attempts originality - both girls narrating not only during actual scenes but in sequences set against a black backdrop, almost seeming as if they're in outer space. After we learn both girl's do's and don'ts (Thompson's "Do", Jackson's "Don't") our heroines go to a special single's resort to hook up with their "dream men". There they meet some obnoxious losers, like Andrew "Dice" Clay in a somewhat funny turn as a... you guessed it... sleaze-bag from New York... and both eventually fall in love with two handsome too-good-to-be-realistic instructors seemingly made for each of them. This is the main problem... If we dealt with the girls continuing to put up with various single men who are in the same boat and as messed up as they are, it'd be much more interesting - and a true study of the film's title (giving the question mark purpose). But things get much too predictable after we know who they want and who wants them. Then it's all about fate, destiny, and all that other chick-flick drivel. "Teen Wolf" fans will enjoy seeing Jerry "Stiles" Levine as the nice-guy instructor who digs Victoria Jackson, only he doesn't wear T-shirts with coffee mug catch-phrases, sorry.

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Dudley Moore in CRAZY PEOPLE Year: 1990 Rating: ***1/2 What's basically Dudley Moore's final leading role in a mainstream (live-acti...