Picks and Pans Review: Thief of Hearts

updated 11/19/1984 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/19/1984 AT 01:00 AM EST

Imagine an acting class that is giving a dramatic reading of, say, the Kearney, Nebr. phone book. Nobody might want to see the work performed again, but the actors' skill can still be admired. That kind of reaction is the best this film can hope for. It's about a burglar who burgles the journals of a woman and finds her fantasies are much livelier than her life with her twerpy husband. Burglar meets girl, burglar loses girl, etc. Steven Bauer, who got the same sort of going-down-with-the-ship exposure in Scarf ace, plays the thief with some intensity. Canadian actress Barbara Williams as the wife and TV actor John (Maggie Briggs) Getz as the husband save their reputations. David (An Officer and a Gentleman) Caruso, who plays Bauer's psychopathic partner, is as palpably evil as Richard Widmark in Kiss of Death in 1947. This cast, though, gets no help from director Douglas Day Stewart. The story suggests fantasies are best left unlived. Even that premise is questionable—unless, of course, your fantasy has to do with going to see Thief of Hearts. (R)

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