A Simple Twist Of Fate

Apparently bent on following the Robin Williams route to success, Steve Martin stars in a contemporary soap opera from Disneywhich Martin himself loosely adapted from George Eliot’s Silas Marnerabout a hermetic furniture maker who adopts a baby girl deposited on his doorstep. As he is raising her the biological father (Gabriel Byrne), a local politician, demands custody of the child. There are only a few laughs here, and though the efforts to elicit tears show a certain amount of sincerity, Eliot’s 19th-century armature keeps poking through the proceedings, making them all seem faintly archaic. With Catherine O’Hara and Stephen Baldwin; directed by Gillies MacKinnon. (JR)

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