Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.
USA, 1986. Universal Pictures. Screenplay by Alan Alda. Cinematography by Frank Tidy. Produced by Martin Bregman. Music by Bruce Broughton. Production Design by Ben Edwards. Costume Design by Jane Greenwood. Film Editing by Michael Economou.
Another intelligent romantic comedy by Alan Alda, which like most of his films is neither bitter nor sweet enough to be ranked up there with the likes of Albert Brooks or Woody Allen. He plays a writer of historical fiction whose novel about the American Revolution has been purchased by Hollywood to be made into a motion picture. A film crew arrives in his town to shoot the movie there, with Alda thrown into disarray by egotistical movie stars, confused screenwriters and audience-driven directors who think that historical accuracy must be altered to serve public desires. Michael Caine is hilarious as the self-loving star of the film, while Michelle Pfeiffer is fantastic as the female lead who is all grace and beauty on the set but rough and practical at home. It’s a great setup with the potential for lots of witty laughs, but like David Mamet’s later similarly-themed movie about making movies, State and Main, it never lives up to its potential.