Picks and Pans Review: Lonely Lady

updated 10/31/1983 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 10/31/1983 AT 01:00 AM EST

Garbage in, garbage out, as the computer folks say. This movie is based on the 1977 Harold Rob-bins novel and directed by Peter Sasdy, whose credits include Welcome to Blood City. The film stars Pia Zadora. Anyone who goes to such a movie expecting intellectual edification deserves what he or she gets. Zadora plays a young woman who is still in high school when she not only manages to marry a top-level screenwriter three times her age but immediately begins to rewrite his scripts. She soon leaves him and starts cutting a sexual swath through Hollywood, like a buzz saw through cardboard. She becomes a success, but at what cost? Let's see, that was $11.95 for the shoes, $20.50 for the dress, $115.73 for eye makeup. Zadora is appealing in her forlorn way, but laughably unconvincing as a writer of serious screenplays. Fan letters to John Travolta, maybe; screenplays, never. The rest of the cast is similarly incredible. Pia's screenwriter husband is played by Lloyd (Dynasty) Bochner, whose basic acting style is to tuck his chin into his chest and speak in very deep, meaningful tones. He overacts wildly, though even Olivier couldn't do much with a line like "That's life: hurting and being hurt." Director Sasdy elicits universally hammy performances from everyone in his cast, which also includes Jared (Dallas) Martin. It's so hard to take anything about the film seriously that even a rape scene involving a garden hose is not offensive, only silly. None of which, of course, is likely to do anything to daunt Zadora's husband and favorite financier, Meshulam Riklis, who bankrolled this travesty. What the heck. Why not give Lady Macbeth a whirl, Pia? (R)

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