A father and daughter (Peter Falk and Emily Lloyd) with a volatile relationship are pitted against both the mob and the cops in a comedy directed by Susan Seidelman (Desperately Seeking Susan) from a script by Nora Ephron and Alice Arlen. Also on hand are Dianne Wiest, Michael V. Gazzo, Brenda Vaccaro, Ricki Lake, Lionel Stander (as a Mafia chieftain), and Jerry Lewis (as an Atlantic City real estate developer). While the cast as a whole makes this intermittently likable (though both Stander and Lewis are unaccountably wasted), the film is defeated by an inadequate script that makes both the convoluted plot and most of the characters (particularly the title heroine) thin and inadequately motivated. Falk, Wiest, and Vaccaro are especially deft at using their talents to make us overlook this deficiency, but eventually the bum script catches up with them (1989). (JR)

This entry was posted in Featured Texts. Bookmark the permalink.