watch the sparks fly as aggression turns into attraction
Aging cowboy movie star Rex Roper (John Forsythe) decides to campaign as the new Mayor of Crescent Bay, Northern California, in opposition to Town Supervisor Charlene McKeon (Barbara Eden) after his request to install a jacuzzi is denied, owing to the area's water shortage.
This act of petulance, when Rex owns a beachfront mansion, establishes his character as one thing, complete with cynical minders who trade on Rex' movie star image and ignore any political issues. However once Rex falls in love with Charlene, he has a complete reversal, except for a later scene when he punches a minder who has leaked scandalous material about her.
Writer Susan Rice could have maintained some tension if she had kept Rex as a "philanderer" who was using Charlene, since he is prepared to disgard his bimbo girlfriend Victoria (Rebeca Arthur), for the sake of the campaign. (In response, she becomes vengeful and tries to sabotage his relationship with Charlene). However unfortunately Rex must have a total character turn-around and become Mr Nice Guy, so much so that he loses all interest in his own election.
There is an amusing send-up of Clint Eastwood, with an excerpt from one of Rex' movies, where Forsythe speaks in Eastwood's monotone and says "Go ahead. Bake my clay" to an Indian. Rice has the occasional witty line. Re the Mayor having had a heart attack - "Can he speak?" "Yes, unfortunately". And "Are my kids alright?" "They're in a hospital. They're not in the hospital". Charlene learns of Rex running for Mayor by seeing a poster being displayed, and a parallel is made between Rex and another actor in politics, Ronald Reagan.
Whilst they are rivals, Eden benefits from Charlene's competition with Rex. She is believable as an intelligent woman, and has some moments of comic timing in response to Victoria and on a talk show when the host is clearly biased towards Rex, even if Rice makes Charlene a widow who is stuck babysitting her career woman sister's children. However, once she accepts Rex' affections, both Eden and Forsythe are less interesting. They are both likeable but rather bland, and since their dramatic abilities are hardly tested, we can only notice their aging features.
Although director Noel Nosseck has our first sight of Eden via her legs, he uses Arthur for the sex quotant, which in turn de-sexes Forsythe even more. However, there is funny cross-cutting between Rex' press conference and the underpopulated one of Charlene. Although she has hardly any material, Conchata Ferrell is fun to have around.
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