Taking Care Of Business

This is a pretty stupid comedy in spots, with holes wide enough to drive trucks through, and director Arthur Hiller is as clunky as ever, but the cast is so funny and likableabove all, costars Jim Belushi and Charles Grodin, and newcomer Loryn Locklinthat they almost bring it off in spite of itself. The plot is basically Trading Places with added complications: Belushi plays a car thief who contrives to break out of jail in order to attend a Cubs game in Los Angeles; Grodin is an overorganized advertising executive with a neglected wife (Veronica Hamel) who gets sent to LA by his boss to clinch an account. Their paths cross in the LA airport, and thanks to various mishaps, the convict finds himself impersonating the executive at the boss’s Malibu mansion and romancing the boss’s daughter (Locklin) while the executive is mugged, loses his identity, and gets chauffeured around by a former classmate (Anne DeSalvo) whom he can’t stand. The script by Jill Mazursky (daughter of executive producer Paul Mazursky) and Jeffrey Abrams is strictly hit-or-miss, and at times not very nice to some of the female characters, but the charisma of the actors glides one past many of the rough edges. With Mako, Hector Elizondo, and Stephen Elliott. (JR)

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