(out of 5)
Another good example of how John Irving’s novels tend not to translate successfully to the big screen. Robin Williams is miscast as an aspiring writer who’s trying to keep his home life with Mary Beth Hurt in order. His mother (Glenn Close, in a fabulous film debut) has written an important social manifesto that has made her something of a celebrity for ignored women everywhere. Their experiences and intuitions make up the bulk of this plodding movie, which is buoyed by great performances (John Lithgow is marvelous as a transsexual football player) and quirky characters, but weighed down by George Roy Hill’s listless direction. By the end, even the Beatles tune that they use as the title theme will get on your nerves.
Pan Arts, Warner Bros.
Directed by George Roy Hill
Cinematography by Miroslav Ondricek
Produced by George Roy Hill, Robert Crawford Jr.
Music by David Shire
Production Design by Henry Bumstead
Costume Design by Ann Roth
Film Editing by Stephen A. Rotter