Picks and Pans Review: Improper Channels

updated 06/22/1981 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/22/1981 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Even without commercial partner James Garner to parry her blithe world-weariness, Mariette Hartley is adorable, and Alan Arkin is adept at portraying frustration in modern society. But only those who adore Hartley very much and laugh at just seeing Arkin should go to this tedious film. Directed by Canadian Eric (All Things Bright and Beautiful) Till, its plot finds Arkin and Hartley pursuing their daughter when she is put in protective custody by a misguided social worker. The satire—of hospital forms, computers, depersonalization, etc.—has been done many times before, and much better. Arkin and Hartley can only struggle with the witless script. (PG)

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