Class Action

A famous civil liberties lawyer (Gene Hackman) and a deft corporate attorney (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) who happen to be father and daughter find themselves on opposite sides of the same class-action lawsuit (against an auto manufacturer accused of producing defective cars), in a film directed by Michael Apted and written by Carolyn Shelby, Christopher Ames, and Samantha Shad. The likable qualities of the leads and the setting (San Francisco) make one hope for a minor-league variation on Adam’s Rib, and this is certainly easy enough to watch; but the liberal pieties underlying the script become so simplistic and predominant that they ultimately deprive the characters and the story of the density and edge they might have had. That much said, this is still a reasonable amount of fun, and some of the secondary castnotably Joanna Merlin and Larry Fishburneare especially effective. With Colin Friels, Jonathan Silverman, Donald Moffat, and Jan Rubes. (JR)

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