Popular Leads Can Not Carry Film Due To Badly Constructed Script.
Projected as a "dark" comedy, one that calls for an adroitly composed scenario, this film instead receives its principal assistance from performances by the two leads, not nearly enough to offset a script that is full of holes in logic, and consistently routine, at best, direction that disregards opportunities for developing effective sequences of satire. A highly implausible and indifferently presented storyline has Ross (Robert Urich) and Marsha (Teri Garr) Pegler, urban social activists being forced by economic factors, largely related to an infant daughter, to move away from their metropolitan area and off into a suburb, there becoming owners of a cookie-cutter home within a bland housing tract, while yet resolute in their stand against the enticements of conformity, depicted here by such as welcome mats, PTA meetings, barbecue grills, and the like. Ross brings home an intercom in the guise of a clown's face as a method for keeping tabs upon their baby from various parts of their house, and soon after Marsha is startled when the device somehow intercepts a racy conversation from what is apparently a nearby cordless telephone, she thereby overhearing that the voices belong to an obviously adulterous couple, Don and Judy, who are plotting to murder one of their spouses. Marsha's bent toward involvement with social issues causes her to make an attempt at identifying the would-be killers and, hopefully, stopping them before they complete the act, all this without having a clue other than their first names, but when she tackles the investigative process she discovers that her new neighbourhood holds an incommodious surfeit of Dons and Judys. When a police detective is unsurprisingly reticent to involve his department with what he believes is Marsha's overactive imagination, she decides to become acquainted with a number of potential victims as well as suspects, thereby raising mild havoc among her neighbours, while additionally placing her marriage in jeopardy because of her interminable search for clues. Some elements of the plot are hopelessly improbable and flaccid direction by Williams cancels any hoped-for effect from presumed red herrings while Urich, and Garr who essentially directs herself, must bolster their parts with mugging. Potentially satiric aspects in the narrative, such as Marsha's increasing fondness for television soap opera, are occasionally depicted well, but the screenplay declines into a boring farrago for a film that is completely lacking in suspense, while being as well a waste of good acting talent, including that of supporting players. Originally shown as a television "movie of the week", the film was immediately thereafter released for video rental distribution based upon the popularity of the co-leads. There is no design for a DVD version.
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