Picks and Pans Review: All Night Long

updated 04/13/1981 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 04/13/1981 AT 01:00 AM EST

"Night is the new frontier," Streisand tells Gene Hackman encouragingly after a row with his boss has reduced him to running an all-night drugstore inhabited by customers resembling the zombies in Dawn of the Dead. Everyone in this sodden comedy seems similarly lobotomized. Hackman's wife (Diane Ladd) pads about listlessly. His dull-witted teenage son (Dennis Quaid) calls a cerebral hemorrhage a brain hemorrhoid. And Hackman's ditzy girlfriend (Streisand), a nymphomaniac married to his wife's cousin, is bedding Quaid on the side. Ending up as a singing waiter in an Italian restaurant, Hackman tries hard to make sense of his surroundings, but nobody could manage that. Streisand replaced the sacked Lisa (Yanks) Eichhorn as a favor to her pal (and then agent) Sue Mengers, the wife of the film's director, Jean-Claude Tramont. But Barbra seems to be doing an impersonation of Goldie Hawn on Quaaludes. Her attempt to play a character other than herself is praiseworthy, but a stupefied Streisand is worse than no Streisand at all. Miscast as an untalented country singer, she bleats about a heart "carelessly tossed from a speeding car onto the hard-luck pavement of life." After just a little of this off-key offal, one wishes the lights would go out. (R)

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