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Skin Deep (1989)

A womanizing, drunken, allelic writer, whose life seems to be falling apart at the seams, repeatedly finds himself in trouble of one sort or another with the law, ex-girlfriends, and jealous boyfriends.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Zach
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Barney
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Alex
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Jake
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Molly
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Amy
Peter Donat ...
Sparky
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Curt
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Alex's Mother
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Angie
Michael Kidd ...
Dr. Westford
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Bernice (as Dee Dee Rescher)
...
Rick
...
Greg
Raye Hollitt ...
Lonnie
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Storyline

Zach Hutton is a womanizing, drunken, allelic writer whose life seems to be falling apart at the seams. He's still in love with his ex-wife (whose family can't stand him), writer's block is keeping him from completing his latest novel, and he repeatedly finds himself in trouble of one sort or another with the law, ex-girlfriends, and jealous boyfriends. Written by Humberto Amador

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

There's a fine line between falling in love, and falling on your face. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

10 March 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

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Box Office

Gross:

$19,674,852 (USA)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

'Nina Foch', who played John Ritter's mother-in-law in the film, was originally Ritter's acting coach when he was a student at Hollywood High School and he was really nervous when he met up with her again on the set of the movie. See more »

Goofs

During the latter half of the movie Zach's beard alternates between real and obviously fake. See more »

Quotes

[Zach is drunk in a bar]
Lonnie Jones: You know what your problem is, Zach?
Zach: Yep.
Lonnie Jones: You drink too much.
Zach: Yep.
Lonnie Jones: You're probably an alcoholic.
Zach: Yep. But that's not my problem. You know what my problem is? I'm an addict.
Lonnie Jones: Drugs?
Zach: Nope. Merry-go-rounds.
Lonnie Jones: You wanna go home with me, Zach?
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Star Odyssey (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Songbird
Written and Performed by Kenny G
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User Reviews

 
ONE OF BLAKE EDWARDS' VERY BEST
7 July 2001 | by (Queens, New York) – See all my reviews

"Skin Deep" was marketed incorrectly. Fox marketed this as a raunchy comedy. It is more of a companion piece to "10" rather than "S.O.B." in that it is fairly serious as well.

But this isn't all drama. "Skin Deep" is not only one of Blake Edwards' very best films, it is probably his most successful combination of comedy and drama to date. Edwards wants to have it both ways and it succeeds.

The film stars John Ritter as Zach Hutton, a one-time famous, best selling author who has stumbled. He is quick to blame it on writer's block, but he has other problems. He drinks excessively. He womanizes even more excessively. His wife has left him after finding him in bed with his mistress' hairdresser. (No, I'm not spoiling the film for you; Edwards makes this all clear in the first 12 minutes) Hutton then sets out on a mission to get his life in order and gain his wife back.

Right there, "Skin Deep" resembles another film, Paul Mazursky's great "Blume in Love". But Edwards takes some turns that Mazursky never even considered. Yeah, Zach wants his wife back, but does he want to change? The answer could be no, but I'm not saying yes either. As in his best films, Edwards never gives any easy answers to the questions he asks and he simply records an existence.

I've made "Skin Deep" sound awfully serious. But I want to say that "Skin Deep" is one of the funniest Edwards films I've ever seen. There are sequences here that rival the best Panther films in terms of hilarity. The house fire. The glow-in-the dark condoms. The electrical therapy sequence. The tsunami warning. His sleepover at his best friends' house, but I can't list them all. I want you to discover some as well.

A real surprise is John Ritter. Most people have written him off as Jack Tripper from his hit TV series "Three's Company", but he has developed into a fine actor with roles in "Sling Blade", "Unnatural Causes" and "Nowhere". Here, he finds the right tone for all of his scenes. He can go from comedy to drama and always be convincing. It's a brilliant performance and it was a real shame the Academy couldn't recognize it.

"Skin Deep" marked a milestone for Blake Edwards. At the time of its' release, 1989 was his 50th year in show business. I've always been an admirer of his work and it gave me great pleasure to see that he still has it in him. It is also kind of sad that Edwards followed this masterpiece with the lackluster "Switch".But at least "Son of the Pink Panther" was a good cap to a great career.

**** out of 4 stars


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