Bil’s rating (out of 5): B.5. USA, 1991. Hollywood Pictures, Permut Presentations, Silver Screen Partners IV. Screenplay by Neil Simon. Cinematography by Donald E. Thorin. Produced by David Permut. Music by David Newman. Production Design by William F. Matthews. Costume Design by Ruth Myers. Film Editing by Michael Jablow, Michael R. Miller, Michael Tronick.
A 1940s playboy (Alec Baldwin) is all set to marry his pure hearted lady love (Elisabeth Shue) when disaster strikes: he meets a gorgeous nightclub singer (Kim Basinger, then Baldwin’s wife) and gets busy with her. Unfortunately, Basinger is the moll of the very powerful gangster Bugsy Siegel (Armand Assante), and when he catches the two of them in bed together he forces them to get married. Now, Baldwin has to outwit both Shue’s outraged family and his new wife who, now that they are married, doesn’t seem to have a lot in common with him. They fight, they divorce, they make up again, they marry, and so on. With the dream team of these two exceptionally talented actors in the lead roles (though occasionally Basinger’s Barbie-style hairdos might make it hard to take her seriously), this film should have been a lot more than what it is, with Neil Simon’s screenplay clunky and his dialogue and situations falling flat every step of the way. It doesn’t help that Jerry Rees’ direction has the subtle grace of a sledgehammer, but at least the gorgeous leads walk away mostly unscathed.