Three Fugitives (1989)

FRANCIS VEBER Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.  USA, 1989.  Touchstone Pictures, Silver Screen Partners IV.  Screenplay by Francis Veber, based on his film Les Fugitifs.  Cinematography by Haskell Wexler.  Produced by Lauren Shuler Donner.  Music by David McHugh.  Production Design by Rick Carter.  Costume Design by April Ferry.  Film Editing by Bruce Green. Francis Veber remakes his own Les Fugitifs for the English-language…

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Freaky Friday

BBBB (out of 5) Surprisingly terrific adaptation of the comedy that originally starred Jodie Foster and Barbara Harris. Jamie Lee Curtis plays an overworked therapist and mother who is about to get married to her boyfriend (Mark Harmon), despite the emotional objections of her difficult teenaged daughter (Lindsay Lohan). The two fight about various mother-daughter conflict…

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Phenomenon

B (out of 5) John Travolta plays a sweet simpleton living in a rural farming community who goes idiot savant when magical powers begin to overcome him and affect the lives of those living near him. After a near-miraculous bolt of lightning touches him, Travolta can move objects with his mind, learn languages at lightning-bolt speed…

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While You Were Sleeping

BBBB (out of 5) Sandra Bullock plays a (yet again) lonely girl who lives with a cat and works the toll booth at a public subway station. Every day she sees the same well-dressed, handsome man (Peter Gallagher) board the station and take his train to work, thinking him beyond her reach. Not so, for one day…

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The Vanishing

BBB (out of 5) American remakes of foreign films are hardly ever as good as their originals, but in this case the insult is further compounded by the fact that the director of the original Dutch version (with the same title) remade this ridiculously lame version himself.  Kiefer Sutherland and girlfriend Sandra Bullock stop at a service…

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Punchline

BBB (out of 5) Sally Field gives a spirited performance as a bored housewife who realizes that her observations on suburban living make for great standup fare. She pursues a career in the field by attending amateur nights, and eventually finds herself squaring off with a failed med student turned comic (Tom Hanks) who at first…

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Baby Mama

BB (out of 5) A highly successful business woman (Tina Fey) finds herself anxious to become a mother but unwilling to wait for her Prince Charming. Deciding to have a child on her own, she is frustrated by adoption waiting lists and her own oddly-shaped uterus, and so turns to the next logical solution: surrogacy….

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The Guru

BBBB (out of 5) In this delightful comedy, a young Indian man (Jimi Mistry) leaves his home and family back in India and makes his way to New York City to become a big star. His friends tell him to give up and accept what little opportunities are offered to foreigners in America, but Mistry…

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The Other Sister

BBB (out of 5) Juliette Lewis‘ heartfelt performance adds much gravity to this sudsy comedy-drama by schlockmeister Garry Marshall. She plays the mentally challenged daughter of Diane Keaton and Tom Skerritt who has spent most of her life in a posh institution and has now finally grown up and returned home to live with her family. The…

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Raising Helen

BBB (out of 5) Surprisingly likeable comedy-drama stars Kate Hudson as Helen, a go-getting glamorous employee of a fashion model agency, whose life is turned right around by the death of her sister and brother-in-law. The deceased leave behind three young children who need a parent, and in their will leave Helen in charge instead of…

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Runaway Bride

B.5 (out of 5) Idiotic romantic comedy from Garry Marshall that makes his Pretty Woman seem like a graduate thesis. Julia Roberts and Richard Gere (reunited from the aforementioned romantic comedy after nine years) do extremely well with a ridiculous script about a young woman who can’t seem to make it all the way down the altar, and the…

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Valentine’s Day

BB (out of 5) Garry Marshall spreads his penchant for empty-headed feelgood stories over a multitude of characters in this nearly unbearable romantic comedy that examines the lives of Los Angelinos on Valentine’s Day. Among them is a teenager (Emma Roberts) preparing to have sex with her boyfriend for the first time, a secretary (Anne…

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