Henrietta Robins works out of her home and her husband Pete drives a cab to try to support her. When Pete gets a tip from one of his fellow drivers that a deal will be made by the Americans and the Soviets over pork bellies, he decides to invest in the market, but needs $3000 to invest. Henrietta goes to extreme lengths to get the money by dealing with first a loan shark, then a madam, then the mob, and finally cattle rustlers. All this in the name of love. —Brian Washington <Sargebri@att.net>
Smart satire eventually gives way to galumphing slapstick...
The first 30 minutes or so of "For Pete's Sake" are amusingly on-target: Brooklyn housewife Barbra Streisand drops her husband off at work on their motorcycle and then pops a wheelie; she proceeds to forge a battle of the bills with the grocery store cashier, the insurance company, the banker, and the telephone company exec (Anne Ramsey, pre-"Throw Momma From The Train"). All this time, Streisand is in terrific comedic form, her expressions more and more incredulous. A dinner with her husband's relatives is equally funny, but "Pete" starts to give out somewhere after this. Barbra can't pay back loan sharks and has to work as a prostitute, a bomb deliverer and a cattle rustler. This last job gives the movie its big slapstick scene, which was a groaner even in 1974. Clearly a rip-off of Streisand's "What's Up, Doc?", it features a stampede of cows down the Columbia backlot accompanied by some of the silliest "country" music I've ever heard. If the filmmakers had kept the movie on a grounded level--and kept Streisand as the perfect Everywoman--this might have been a dead-on satire of the ailing economy. As it is, it's passable fluff. **1/2 from ****
- Jul 26, 2006
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