True Colors

A principled yuppie (James Spader) and an unprincipled upstart (John Cusack) become roommates and best friends at the University of Virginia’s law school in 1983, and eventually lock horns in Washington after the upstart pursues a political career and the yuppie goes in pursuit of justice. It’s questionable whether Kevin Wade’s muddled script would have carried much conviction under any circumstances, but the fatal miscasting of the two leads kills off any believability at the outset, and neither director Herbert Ross nor composer Trevor Jones (who contributes an aggressively bland score) can add enough punch to distract one from the overall incoherence. It’s nice, however, to see Richard Widmark back in gritty style as a wily senator. With Imogen Stubbs and Mandy Patinkin. (JR)

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