Picks and Pans Review: The Buddy System

updated 05/07/1984 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/07/1984 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Richard Dreyfuss plays an unsuccessful writer-inventor, the creator of such useful devices as a talking scale that informs him, "You've gained seven pounds. If you want to put something in your mouth, try a gun." Susan Sarandon is a harried single mother who longs to become a court reporter. They meet, and the result is another one of those romantic comedies in which the principals gradually wear down their mutual resistance. This only rarely funny variation on the theme, directed by Glenn (Only When I Laugh) Jordan and written by newcomer Mary Agnes Donoghue, includes Nancy (Blow Out) Allen, wonderfully ditsy as Dreyfuss' girlfriend, and Edward (A Change of Seasons) Winter as Sarandon's beau. Everyone struggles to hide behind very thin material, but at least one cliche has been avoided. Instead of succeeding at last as a writer, Dreyfuss takes the manuscripts of his novels and scatters them to the sea breezes. Maybe that's what should have been done with this script. (PG)

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