Picks and Pans Review: Romancing the Stone
It's right out of Raiders of the Lost Ark, a rollicking, tongue-in-cheek romance adventure starring Michael Douglas and Kathleen (Body Heat) Turner. The man-eating crocodiles, the hair-raising jungle chase, the ride over the waterfall—all this is the stuff of pulp movies in the best tradition, and Romancing the Stone, despite a few stray bits of plot and dialogue, is in that tradition. It's also a lot of fun. Turner plays a romance novelist who cries at the end of her own books; she is a rather plain New York career woman whose only romantic entanglement seems to be with her cat. Then things start happening: Her sister is kidnapped by thugs in Colombia, Turner's apartment is ransacked, and she flies to South America with the ransom, a treasure map everyone seems to want. Douglas, a drifter, meets Turner when she is about to be attacked by the bad guys in the jungle. Their chemistry is not exactly Tracy and Hepburn, but things do heat up. Danny (Terms of Endearment) DeVito is embarrassingly hammy as one of the bumbling bad guys; the movie would have been better without him. But the screenplay by rookie writer Diane Thomas (a waitress in Malibu when she wrote it) lampoons a lot of pop icons. Watch for the copy of Rolling Stone Douglas discovers in the fuselage of a wrecked plane ("The Doobie Brothers broke up," he moans while poor Turner is fighting off a poisonous snake). Turner is terrific, Douglas is fine and the action is slam-bang. Add lots of laughs and it all works out just right. (PG)
On Newsstands Now
- Amy Robach: 'I'm Lucky to Be Alive'
- Paul Walker: Inside His Tragic Death
- Julia Roberts: Choosing Family Over Hollywood
Pick up your copy on newsstands
Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine