I love Ellen Barkin, 'deed I do, but even she cannot make the romance with Jack Nicholson believable here. Even back in 1992, Nicholson was TOO OLD to play a romantic lead with a woman seventeen years his junior.
I was getting the creeps watching this in the fall of 2008, and suddenly I realized why. The pairing reminds me of John McCain and his trophy wife, Cindy. McCain: born 1936. Nicholson: born 1937. Cindy and Barkin: both born 1954.
It's obnoxious, the way Hollywood continues to indulge Nicholson (and, presumably, equally elderly male producers and writers) with this assumption that an audience can believe gorgeous young women will fall all over him. Oh, spare me. And start giving actresses Nicholson's own age parts like the plums HE gets, or at least, parts playing his love interest.
I like dogs, I like Ellen Barkin, and that's why I was able to endure the movie at all, though I was embarrassed for her being stuck with such a ludicrous part - and one which, in a movie meant to be funny, failed to take full advantage of her talent for comedy, especially her considerable physical comedy chops.
Also loved Lauren Tom as the Nicholson's wife! Again, the age difference is severe - Tom was born in 1961, making her fully 24 years younger than Nicholson and his character - but Tom's put-on accent (she was born in Chicago) and Nicholson's overall sleaziness suggest that she's a mail-order bride struggling to make the best of a groom who calls her "Iwo Jima." Tom, like Barkin, deserves better writing than this.
One star for Barkin, one star for Tom, and one star for the dog. Zero stars for the rest of it, particularly casting Nicholson and for the overly-complex plot lines.
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