Picks and Pans Review: Lovesick

updated 02/28/1983 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/28/1983 AT 01:00 AM EST

They could have called this film "14," since it is another case of Dudley Moore playing a middle-aged man consumed by lust for a young woman, and the object of his fixation in this case, Elizabeth McGovern, is at least the equivalent of Bo Derek, adjusted for inflation. Or they could have called it Play It Again, Marshall, since it resembles Play It Again, Sam, which was written by Lovesick writer-director Marshall Brickman's old buddy Woody Allen. Or they could have decided not to bother with it at all, which would have been best for all concerned. Moore, as a New York psychoanalyst, is likable enough, but most of the movie's jokes are visual and he spends much of the film reacting. Eventually he just seems reacted out. McGovern, as a new-in-town playwright from Illinois, looks like the thinking man's Brooke Shields; she's so infectiously charming a couple of unflattering close-ups that accentuate her face's chubbiness don't hurt her. What does hurt is that she doesn't have any funny lines, either. And the Play It Again, Sam gimmick, which involves an apparition of Sigmund Freud instead of Bogart, is disastrous. Alec Guinness plays Freud as if he were Obi-Wan Kenobi with an Austrian accent, and the byplay between him and Moore is embarrassing; there is even a Freudian slip joke. The peculiar supporting cast includes John Huston, Alan King, Ron Silvers (whose Al Pacino-like portrayal of an overbearing actor is the film's highlight) and artist Larry Rivers, out of his element as an actor. That there is no real point to the proceedings is forgivable. Light comedy has its place. This film, though, is so fluffy it floats right off the screen. (PG)

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