Picks and Pans Review: Yes, Giorgio

updated 10/18/1982 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/18/1982 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Kate Jackson turned down the chance to play Luciano Pavarotti's adulterous lover in this romantic comedy with music that marks the superstar Met tenor's film debut. Wise woman, that Kate. Pavarotti's extra-large talent may shatter glass and concert box office records, but as a leading man he's a bust. Kathryn Harrold, late of NBC's soap The Doctors, is as lovely as Jackson, but she's stuck with a hopeless role that calls for her to be indifferent to Pavarotti's voice but gaga over his body. Huh? Pavarotti has an engaging manner, but as a lover he weighs in on the far side of Orson Welles. Norman Steinberg, a former Flip Wilson comedy writer, adapted Anne Piper's novel about a married Italian opera star who gets involved with a sexy lady doctor on his American tour, and maybe that's why the dialogue is full of unintentional howlers. "You are a thirsty plant—Fini can water you," Luciano tells Harrold lasciviously. After he informs her that he won't leave his wife, Harrold retorts, "Part of you isn't enough." Given his girth, what more does she want? Their relationship culminates in a free-for-all fight that, like the entire movie, has all the snap of limp fettuccine. What attracted director Franklin (Patton) Schaffner to take on this misguided attempt to turn Pavarotti into the new Mario Lanza is anyone's guess. Chances are he is simply a devoted opera buff. If so, he should have let his star just sing. When Pavarotti caresses Ave Maria or turns his glorious voice loose on an aria from Turandot, he hits all the right notes. The rest falls flat. (PG)

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