Her Alibi (1989) Poster


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A simple, funny, and charming little film
chrisinthemorning22 November 2003
A lot of us go through our quite ordinary lives daydreaming about being these larger than life characters, so I thought that this story about this sheltered and detached mystery writer, Phillip Blackwood, was quite good because of the funny and endearing way it relates to being a dreamer.

I'm a big Tom Selleck fan, since his days as island hopping P.I. Thomas Magnum, and I think he was the perfect fit for the role of Phil Blackwood. Selleck is this tall, good-looking dude who looks the part of your typical hero or action star, but he is able to come across as this almost goofy, nice guy, and I think those are the qualities that make Thomas Magnum and Phillip Blackwood such great characters. The contradictions between the characters' physical appearances and their personalities make them very easy to like and root for.

I liked the rest of the cast too. Paulina Porizkova was stunningly beautiful and I liked her in her role. The actors who played Blackwood's agent and brother were very funny in their roles.

I recommend this movie. It is lighthearted, funny, and quite charming.
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How do you say in Romanian, get lost dick-face! Tremendous Fun
cosmorados12 June 2008
Philip Blackwood is a depressed writer who's lost his spark and his passion for writing. His successful detective character is the subject of endless predictable stories and his agent is on his back trying to get him to turn it around. As he goes to court with the usual oldies who attend in order to have something to Gossip about up steps the beautiful Nina, an eastern European arrested for murdering a fellow countryman with a pair of scissors. Tom Selleck decides to act as her alibi (Hey it's the title of the film as well!) and invites her to live with him as he believes she is innocent. As the police detective that drops by to chat with Philip Blackwood informs him, if the alibi is made up then he is not only a perjurer, but more importantly, he is liable to be the next victim in order for the alibi to stand forever. What follows is a series of ridiculous escapades in which Philip's life is under threat at every stage of the day, never knowing if the lovely Nina is a cold blooded killer or just deadly unlucky.

I had the fortune to get this film out of the video library on a whim and wound up falling in love with the film as much as Blackwood does with Nina, the parallels between his super-cool fictional world and the clumsy long suffering Blackwood are fantastic, and all the supporting cast do a great job.

Don't get me wrong, this is not an Annie Hall or a when harry met sally, it's silly ridiculous and as Farantino says "I gotta say, Phil, You're works a little predictable!" but it's still a good watch and a very fun film.
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there should be more movies like this
skottyrock20 August 2001
Though not a masterpiece of film-making, HER ALIBI makes for a pleasant change from the violent films that Hollywood keeps on churning out. Tom Selleck and model-cum-actress Paulina Porizkova generate some genuine sparks on-screen in this lighthearted comedy/mystery. Selleck does well in the role of a once-popular mystery writer, while Porizkova, better known for her model-perfect looks, satisfies as the mysterious foreigner who captures the heart of Selleck.
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Selleck's humour
Mort-318 February 2001
It's true that this film is rather undeep and not particularly demanding. But still, in my opinion, it's charmy. From this point of view, the film is stylistically correct because the books Philip Blackwood writes are also romantic thrillers with exaggerated characters and no attempt to be serious or even world class. We're in the world of trash. Of course, the movie can be understood as kind of a parody on the book that's being written during the film. But on the other hand, it corresponds to it.

Tom Selleck's humour or maybe only the humour around his role keeps the movie alive. Like in „Folks!`, he is the poor guy, damned to passiveness, who desperately tries to cope with what is happening to him. But here the humour doesn't arise only from his mishaps but also from the way he falsifies them when transferring them into his novel. Paulina Porizkova is not a convincing actress but in this movie this doesn't matter because her inflexible face makes her character unfathomable, unpredictable, unlike Philip Blackwood's stories.

If you want to see a trashy little comedy about trashy little thrillers, this is the right one for you!
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Under-appreciated suspense comedy
Dave from Ottawa19 July 2008
Always likable Tom Selleck is well cast as a mediocre mystery writer (VERY mediocre, based on the samples of his writing we get in the voice-over narrations, which are one of the funniest parts of the movie). He's looking for a plot for his next book and finding it in the person of a beautiful Romanian college student (Paulina Porizkova) who seems to be hiding some big secret. The movie plays like the plot of a bad detective book, with perceptions of the female character shifting from dangerous to trustworthy to suspicious and back. The chemistry between the characters works very well romantically as both characters begin to fall in love despite being wary and suspicious of the various goings-on, and the Romanian KGB agents on Paulina's trail make for useful comic villains.
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OK--It's not "Breaker Morant"
Red-12516 May 2005
Her Alibi (1989) directed by Bruce Beresford, is a very funny, but totally predictable, murder mystery. Tom Selleck plays Phil Blackwood, a mystery writer whose stories are as predictable as the film's plot. Phil has run out of creative steam and his reputation is diminishing.

Paulina Porizkova plays Nina, who is a beautiful (very) Romanian who may or may not be a murderer.

From the moment Phil sees Nina, we can guess where the movie is going. In other words, Her Alibi isn't really a mystery. What makes the film enjoyable isn't the plot, but the technique Beresford utilizes. We see a scene, and hear Selleck's voice- over as he writes the scene into his novel. Of course, what we see and what we hear are two totally different versions of reality. The contrast really is very funny.

William Daniels does well as Sam, Selleck's long-suffering publisher. Porizkova can't act, but nobody will notice. Selleck plays Selleck.

If you want to see fine film-making, rent Beresford's Breaker Morant. If you want to laugh at a film with no social significance at all, rent Her Alibi.
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Hilarious adventure with excellent performances
vikramts29 March 2000
Warning: Spoilers
I caught "Her Alibi" last week by chance and I had absolutely no idea that it would be such an enjoyable movie.With Tom Selleck giving a simply wonderful performance and a gorgeous Paulina for company,the movie had me rooted to my seat for the entire length!

Selleck plays the role of Phillip Blackwood , a not-so succesful writer with a creative block and his publisher is getting impatient with him,waiting for the next "Peter Swift" novel from blackwood.To get his creative juices flowing with ideas of crime plots,Selleck visits the law court one day where he witnesses the lovely Romanian girl,Nina(Paulina Polizkova), being tried for murder.In an attempt to salvage what's left of his personal life,Selleck gives her an alibi that she is his lover and saves her from imprisonment.The movie then deals with Selleck taking the girl home and incorporating totally twisted versions (of his daily adventures) into his novel.Now that his book seems to be shaping up with the elements of Mystery,Passion,Adventure and Thrill (characteristic of detective novels),Selleck finds himself falling in love and possibly also in danger with the ravishing beauty.!

Her expert skills in throwing knives n handling scissors make it hard for him to believe that she could be innocent of the murder charge.However,Love soon finds itself taking form between the lonely,handsome man and the lovely lass.Her identity still remains a mystery to him and in his quest for the truth,he stumbles upon an interesting plot which makes the perfect ending for his new novel.

The movie has its share of hilarious scenes when Selleck gets an arrow into his butt,when he rushes his family to the hospital(doubting that Nina might have poisoned them all)and when he challenges the bad guys to a bout(dressed up as a clown).It also captures the picturesque locations hitherto dreamt of only in fantasy lands.Paulina is an absolute stunner and she plays the part of the innocent yet no-nonsense kind of girl with ease and panache. In all,I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and I sure hope all you guys watch it for yourselves sometime!If you like it,tell me so since I'd love to contact the stars and convey my appreciation.
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More enjoyable than its 5.1 IMDb rating would suggest.
TxMike9 April 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Maybe Tom Selleck is so popular because he can be liked equally by the gals and the guys. Here he is Phil Blackwood, successful bachelor author of a whole series of mystery novels. But lately he is "stuck" and his agent is pressuring him into writing something good.

He happens to be in court with friends one day when beautiful Paulina Porizkova as Nina from Romania is arraigned for murder. It seems that the dead guy had scissors stuck through his chest, into his heart, and she was the accused.

Apparently unable to speak English, Nina's court-appointed lawyer asks for and gets a 24-hour continuance. Meanwhile, dresses as a priest, Phil gets into jail to visit her. In short, they agree on a plan, he will claim they are in a relationship and she was with him when the murder was committed. That becomes "Her Alibi."

As part of their agreement, Nina goes with Phil, back to his secluded home in Connecticut. He doesn't quite know what to do with her, but is smitten. And, it turns out, she speaks English very well. But she remains mysterious, and won't tell Phil anything about her background or "who she is." Still, Phil uses his everyday experiences with her, including the court case, to write his fictional novel. Most of the movie involves their interactions and her dodging some mysterious Romanians seemingly out to get her. It is a romantic comedy, very enjoyable at barely 90 minutes. We found it very entertaining.

A bonus was seeing Patrick Wayne as Phil's brother Gary Blackwood. As the movie was playing I didn't know whom he was, but remarked that he looked a lot like Jim Garner and I wondered if he was Garner's son. John Wayne's son instead!

SPOILERS: Nina and her family were Romanian circus performers, planning to defect. The mysterious men were trying to prevent the defection, as it would be an embarrassment to their country.
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"Liked it."
Bryan Palencia18 November 2009
I actually look forward to watching this movie when it comes on cable. It's basically a cute little movie. I mainly like it for the cinematography, the set design, and the overall artistic direction. Tom Selleck is likable and very funny. He does a sort of charming goofiness in this film. There is an exact chemistry between Selleck and Porizkova (I personally got it). The cinematography is amazing in that the charm of the eighties is wonderfully captured in the display of the movie. The set design seems extravagant, but that's part of the pleasure of the movie. And the artistic direction is interesting because the lyricism expressed doesn't take itself too seriously. This film is a guilty pleasure.
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Fairly amusing "comedy-thriller" but sort of lame at the same time
MovieAddict20161 February 2005
Tom Selleck is the titular character, "her alibi," who provides a beautiful murder suspect with a false alibi because he believes she is innocent. However, once he brings her back to his house, he begins to believe perhaps he was wrong - and now she is trying to murder him so that he cannot go back on his word.

Selleck's character also happens to be a mystery writer of cheap paperback books so he uses what's happening in his life as a parallel to his story, so at moments throughout the film we hear voice-overs of the story being narrated and it's played for comedy (example: Selleck makes a lot of noise while spying on the murder suspect, then in voice-over he reads a line from the book he's writing and says that the character in the book "quietly snuck up on the girl.").

Not a great movie, but it will entertain you.
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Enjoyable fluff
Tito-85 September 1999
Okay, I can admit that this was a fairly dumb movie, but that didn't stop me from enjoying myself. Tom Selleck was a good choice for this silly film, and Paulina Porizkova shows that she's more than just a pretty face. Sometimes it did get too stupid for my tastes, but it was still a good way to kill an hour-and-a-half. Yeah, it's not Shakespeare, but it's a lot more fun than Shakespeare.
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Her Alibi
Coxer9916 June 1999
Entertaining mystery-farce with Selleck as a novelist who suspects a beautiful woman is trying to murder him. Porizkova is lovely in her film debut as the woman.
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Surprising in a really pleasant way
dew_od24 August 2000
Warning: Spoilers
I saw this film long ago but i remember it fondly, especially because it never let me guess what was going to happen next. Not a clue.

(Spoiler) I like the naive feel of the script. You keep expecting the worst but in the end everything is so okay. Definitely a change from the usual, and another reason why this film is so surprising.
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Heavenly Angel
Bob-929 April 1999
Her Alibi is a very enjoyable movie with a little intrigue and the most beautiful girl in the world. I have been madly, passionately in love with Paulina Porizkova since seeing her in Vogue in about 1985. I envy Tom Selleck. Paulina can cut my hair any time. The thing I like is how natural she acts. She seems more relaxed than some of the other more experienced actresses. I have seen other models try screen acting with disastrous results. Tom Sellick plays his part well; that of a man so besotted with this heavenly creature that he finishes up doing silly things. That happens to many men in the same situation.

A good movie topped off with a divine woman.
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Funnier than I thought it would be
Rose-3527 June 2000
Going into this film, I didn't think it was going to be all that funny. Was I wrong! This has a lot of laughs esp. the scenes with the bow and arrow and the dinner Nina cooks for Phil's family. If you feel like having a good laugh, then watch this. It won't be a waste of time.
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bad right from the start
SnoopyStyle21 July 2016
Phil Blackwood (Tom Selleck) is a successful crime mystery writer of Peter Swift novels but he's been blocked for four years. Her publisher Sam (William Daniels) suggests getting a woman. He hangs out at court with the regulars. One day, he comes across Romanian Nina Lonescu (Paulina Porizkova) accused of a stabbing murder. He pretends to be a priest to interview her and offers to be her alibi. The government reluctantly releases her. With agents from the communist Romanian government after her, she decides to stay with Phil in his country home.

First, Phil is an idiot. He's the most naive crime writer in the world. Other than being beautiful, he has no reason to assume her innocence. In fact, she doesn't even exert her innocence before he volunteers to be her alibi. The whole premise falls apart right from the start. The rest of the movie struggles to create humor. Tom Selleck is capable but Porizkova is only a model. She has the beauty and the poise. She doesn't have the skills to play in a comedy. She could be a functional actor in something less demanding. This movie is bad right from the start.
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I coulda been watching the IFC channel
helpless_dancer13 June 2002
Occasionally amusing but for the most part I just sat there and watched these folks go through their paces. This was merely one of those pictures created to fill up a film reel and make a nice payday for a big name actor. A pointless exercise in tedium.
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Thinking Up Excuses Why You Might Want to Watch.
tfrizzell28 June 2004
Sorry mystery writer Tom Selleck has no ideas for his next book and decides to be the alibi for a beautiful, but mysterious woman (Paulina Porizkova) who is suspected of murder. Selleck, totally oblivious to the fact that she may be very dangerous, decides to bring her back to his home to get ideas and hopefully seduce her. Of course there are bad European guys after her and after Selleck as well now. William Daniels steals every scene as Selleck's nervous publicist in the unspectacular venture. Director Bruce Beresford (who actually directed "Driving Miss Daisy" the same year this was released) goes way below his talents with this sappy television sitcom-styled dud. Might be worth 94 minutes for those who want to look at Porizkova and listen to Daniels, but overall this is little more than rubbish. 2 stars out of 5.
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"Paulina can cut my hair any time."
elcoat13 March 2015
Indeed, as Bob-92 from Australia has previously written.

This is the kind of movie you can watch over and over to enjoy its funny and poignant moments.

All-too-human nice guy Tom Selleck was conceived for the Phil Blackwood character, and cool, reserved beauty Paulina Porizkova for hers.

The at first funny and then sensual haircut scene brought back happy, intense memories of such moments with my also brunette, slim (except, ...) & pretty first wife. It is one of the great scenes in film history.

For a divorced man, this is not only entertaining but encouraging ... hope for the future ... as is Ageless Love with Robert De Niro and Monica Belucci(!).

There should be more films like this.
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cute spoofy mystery-romance
triple824 November 2003
Warning: Spoilers
I look at this as almost a spoof on mystery thrillers. It has its moments of funniness, the ensemble cast is particularly funny, I love the scene where they all think they've been poisoned. This movie isn't roll in your seat hilarious or anything but it is the type of movie you can watch when there's nothing else on and maybe get a few laughs out of. Selleck shows a gift for comedy here while at the same time maintaining his trademark sexiness. Still,Selleck's about the best thing in it, don't be fooled this is not a good movie, more an OK one with a few laughs in it thats cool to watch on a rainy day(it runs CONSTANTLY on TV-they always show it-so it should be easy to find). After you see it once though, it may not be one you'll care to watch a second time.
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There are two good things about this movie...
stills-69 October 1999
There are two good things about this movie: Paulina and her deep-voiced accent, and the opening credits. This is a case where an interesting story was overshadowed by the marketing plan. Why flesh out a story when Paulina's flesh can substitute?

But, something I hate to admit, I had a good time watching this movie just for the novelty of watching a gorgeous supermodel say things like "globes of flesh". A guilty pleasure, I suppose.
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But what is Tom's?
Mister-619 August 1999
You ever want to see Tom Selleck act like a total buffoon?

You ever want to see Tom Selleck get shot in the rear with an arrow, have dry heaves, fall off trash cans, get beaten up by a guy in a clown suit, get windshield wiper fluid shot up his nose and, oh yeah, fall in love Paulina Pourizkova?

You do?

You're sick.

One star. Tom, hope and pray for a "Magnum PI" reunion.
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gridoon27 November 2003
Very shaky plot. I didn't know that all you had to do to get a murder suspect free was to get into a police station, claim that you were with him/her at the time of the murder and bam!...out they go. The picture was probably trying to be a comic (and reverse) version of Hitchcock's "Suspicion" ("is the person I love trying to murder me?"), but it doesn't have enough ambiguity for that - there's never a moment's doubt about Porizkova's innocence. Tom Selleck's pratfalls are not funny at all, and the "romance" part doesn't work either, because he has no one to play off against him - Porizkova is a wooden blank up there on the screen. And I won't even mention the dated anti-Communist overtones! (**)
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Selleck finds inspiration in Porizkova
goya-48 October 2000
Tom Selleck stars as a detective novelist with writers block in this cute little movie that introduces supermodel Paulina Porizkova to the acting world. She does a fine job as a Russian immigrant accused of murder (of course she didn't do it) and Selleck offers to be her alibi.

On a scale of one to ten..6
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