Picks and Pans Review: Six Pack

updated 09/13/1982 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/13/1982 AT 01:00 AM EDT

A lot of good singers try acting. A few—Crosby, Sinatra, Streisand, Bowie and perhaps Midler—have a natural affinity for the camera and the gift of never being boring. On the basis of Six Pack, his feature film debut, Kenny Rogers is not among the lucky ones. Playing a down-at-the-heels stock car driver who hooks up with half a dozen cute, cussin' urchins, the lethargic Rogers is clearly dependent on audience goodwill to see him through. He's not above stacking the deck, either. The script (by Mike Marvin and Alex Matter) and direction (Daniel Petrie)—overseen by Kenny's own Lion Share Productions—are geared to make the star irresistible. Shucks, the kids love him. And the women, in particular the gorgeous Erin Gray (of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century TV fame), can't keep their lithe bodies off him, despite his persistent paunch. Even his varmint racing rival, Terry Kiser, can't help admirin' him. Except for a credit song, Love Will Turn You Around, this is a straight acting job for Rogers, who can't find an equivalent acting gimmick for the throaty rasp that carries such conviction in his best music. Rogers and the movie keep pushing smarmy, sitcom emotions. There is a sharp, intuitive performance by Diane (A Little Romance) Lane, 17, as the only girl among the kids. But the moral seems to be: Kenny, don't take your beard to Hollywood. (PG)

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