Archives for posts with tag: Donald Moffat

At the beginning of “Housesitter” (1992), Steve Martin tells Dana Delany he’s had a crush on her since ninth grade. Given that he’s 10 years older than her in real life (and looks every minute of it), I immediately began to have issues with this film. But then the more age-appropriate Goldie Hawn came along in her tight jeans and fixed everything. Martin and Hawn are such pros, they took a hackneyed rom-com plot (little fib becomes big lie, hijinks ensue, people make speeches, mismatched couple finally realizes true love, gag, the end) and turn it into something entirely watchable.

If you know an a-hole lawyer, shoot them in the head and they’ll become a good person. That’s my takeaway from “Regarding Henry” (1991). Harrison Ford is the a-hole. He suffers brain damage from a shooting and, although he loses some motor skills, he finds a conscience. Hijinks do not ensue. (In fact, I think the stuff that does ensue is the exact opposite of hijinks. I don’t know if there’s a word for it. Perhaps I suffered brain damage from watching this movie.) The climax is, well, anticlimactic. The only smoking gun was the one Henry got shot with.

 

“Music Box” (1989) is a courtroom drama that keeps you guessing. I mean, guessing where the drama is. It’s a federal prosecution of 40-year-old war crimes that took place in Hungary. An open and shut case. The suspense comes in waiting to see if the defendant will admit his guilt to his defense attorney daughter (Jessica Lange). Your faith in the courtroom movie formula starts feeding on itself, however, and you begin rooting for a big payoff that proves Papa innocent. The twist? He is suddenly, definitively shown to be guilty. Interestingly, it makes for a sadder, but better, story.