26 user 16 critic

The Object of Beauty (1991)

This story is about a ne'er do well and his girlfriend search for a thief.





Cast overview, first billed only:
John Malkovich ... Jake
Andie MacDowell ... Tina
Lolita Davidovich ... Joan
Rudi Davies ... Jenny
Joss Ackland ... Mr. Mercer
Bill Paterson ... Victor Swayle
Ricci Harnett ... Steve
Peter Riegert ... Larry
Jack Shepherd ... Mr. Slaughter
Rosemary Martin ... Mrs. Doughty
Roger Lloyd Pack ... Frankie (as Roger Lloyd-Pack)
Andrew Hawkins Andrew Hawkins ... Gordon
Pip Torrens ... Art Evaluator
Stephen Churchett ... Mr. Mundy
Annie Hayes Annie Hayes ... Housekeeper


Two Americans living sumptuously abroad find their relationship challenged by an unexpected lack of finances. When Jake, a commodities broker, is unable to pay the bills (due to a dock strike that holds up a cocoa shipment), he suggests that Tina (sensuous, beautiful and still married to another man) file an insurance claim on her 'little Henry Moore' in order to help pay their bills. Tina balks. The statue is her only source of security, all that she owns in the whole world. Does he realize what he's asking of her? Then, the statue simply disappears. Circumstances become more dire and questions emerge. Can Tina trust Jake? Can Jake trust Tina? When things spin out of their control, each is forced to reckon with doubt-doubt of themselves, doubt of each other and doubt of the strength of their bond. As it is with love, "to some people, cocoa is very scary." The story that unfolds is sensuous, understated, witty and elegant-a true 'Object of Beauty.' Written by JCrickett

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Love is more than dollars and sex. See more »


Comedy | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Elizabeth Perkins was originally cast to play Joan, but had to drop out due to illness. Lolita Davidovich was eventually cast in her place. See more »


Tina: Jake, I've got a very naughty idea.
See more »

User Reviews

Worth seeking out
26 March 2014 | by ThunderbuckSee all my reviews

There's a genre I like to call "little English comedy" that really traces its roots back to the Ealing studios in the late 40s. The movies didn't have high budgets (they couldn't afford them), but frequently had clever scripts that made them eminently watchable (Alec Guiness got his start there in movies like The Man in the White Suite and The Horse's Mouth).

The Object of Beauty fits this category nicely. It's a little puzzling that it didn't do better, actually, with two American leads and rave reviews from Siskel and Ebert. Their review, in fact, is the only reason I happened to be on the lookout for this one.

It's an elegant, witty comedy of manners. It's carefully, quietly scripted, and rather subtle. Totally worth seeking out.

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Release Date:

12 April 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Object of Beauty See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$208,119, 14 April 1991

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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