Nice Girls Don’t Explode

Don’t be fooled by the promising title: despite the presence of Barbara Harris, this 1987 effort was one of the unfunniest youth comedies in years. A protective mother (Harris) who doesn’t want to part with her daughter April (Michelle Meyrink) secretly rigs up explosives so that she’ll think it’s her hormones that are telekinetically starting the fires. Whatever comic premises Paul Harris’s script might have had, we’ll never know, because the leaden direction of first-timer Chuck Martinez sinks them without a trace. With the ubiquitous Wallace Shawn, more lugubrious than usual, as a friendless, eccentric arsonist, and William O’Leary as the boyfriend. (JR)

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