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1 item from 1997

Film review: 'A Smile Like Yours'

22 August 1997 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Chronicling one couple's adventures in procreation, "A Smile Like Yours" starts out with a premise that is certainly fertile fodder for a '90s romantic comedy.

However, the end result, directed and co-written by Rysher Entertainment founder Keith Samples (with Kevin Meyer), is a dreary, labored affair that squanders the promising concept, leaving a response of widespread indifference in its wake.

At the boxoffice, given that and the fact Greg Kinnear and Lauren Holly have yet to prove themselves as bankable leads, moviegoers will likely opt for abstinence.

On the surface, Danny and Jennifer Robertson (Kinnear and Holly) would appear to have everything going for them, including a strong, passionate relationship and good jobs. He works in construction. She is co-owner of a burgeoning aroma-therapy business. The only thing missing in their lives is a bouncing bundle of joy.

While Danny isn't so sure the timing's right, Jennifer becomes absolutely obsessed with the idea. When all homespun methods fail to produce the desired result, they surrender their bodies to a fertility clinic as their marriage, too, is tested by a series of fresh stress loads.

To the script's credit, it doesn't shy away from all the invasive treats that await couples when their attempts at baby-making shift from the bedroom to the lab. The results will likely have some nodding their heads in empathy and others squirming in their seats, but that isn't the picture's problem. It's Samples' awkward freshman direction, which places undue emphasis on all the wrong moments, suffocating potential humor, not to mention lumbering pacing (the kiss of death for a romantic comedy) that makes the film's reasonable 101-minute running time feel interminable.

The other major problem is that Holly and Kinnear (last seen together in "Sabrina") make for a cute, if bland, couple. As likable and sincere as they come across, they simply lack the dynamic that would enable them to transcend the material and make it their own. Picking up the slack is the always terrific Joan Cusack as Holly's business partner, Jay Thomas as Kinnear's work buddy and Marianne Muellerleile who's a riot as a smirking, bullying fertility clinic nurse.

Even Shirley MacLaine has been recruited (obviously as a favor to Samples for Rysher's "Evening Star"), making an unbilled extended cameo at the picture's end, but her considerable comedic talents are unable to resuscitate a production that simply fails to deliver the goods.


Paramount Pictures

Rysher Entertainment presents

a David Kirkpatrick production

Director Keith Samples

Screenwriters Kevin Meyer, Keith Samples

Producers David Kirkpatrick, Tony Amatullo

Executive producer Robert Harling

Director of photography Richard Bowen

Production designer Garreth Stover

Editor Wayne Wahrman

Costume designer Jill Ohanneson

Music William Ross

Music supervisors Randy Gerston, Evyen Klean

Casting Jennifer Shull



Danny Robertson Greg Kinnear

Jennifer Robertson Lauren Holly

Nancy Tellen Joan Cusack

Steve Harris Jay Thomas

Lindsay Hamilton Jill Hennessy

Richard Halstrom Christopher McDonald

Dr. Felber Donald Moffat

Dr. Chin France Nuyen

Nurse Wheeler Marianne Muellerleile

Running time -- 101 minutes

MPAA rating: R


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