Picks and Pans Review: Finnegan Begin Again
HBO (Sunday, Feb. 24, 8 p.m. ET)
Hallelujah! Pay cable has at long last made a movie to love: Finnegan Begin Again, starring Mary Tyler Moore, Robert (Victor/Victoria) Preston and Sam (The Killing Fields) Waterston. In its efforts to make adult movies, cable too often has equated mature tastes with unsubtle sex and violence. Finnegan has no flesh or blood. Instead it boasts only good taste and talent in a warm, funny, romantic tale. Moore once again plays Ms. Right waiting for the right Mr. In the meantime she's having an affair with a married mortician (Waterston) who gives her bouquets of flowers scavenged from funeral wreaths. Then Moore meets the likably looney Preston, a hardened newsman who's been demoted to writing a lonely hearts column. They strike up a strange friendship and bolster each other through their crises: her affair with an ass, his wife's illness. And before they know it, they've fallen in love. It's wonderful to see Moore back in comedy. Preston is a perfect match for the queen of charisma. Waterston deserves credit for taking a small, comic role. And give HBO credit for getting talent—including director Joan Micklin (Hester Street) Silver and first-time screenwriter Walter Lockwood—and letting it loose. Finnegan, unlike most made-for-cable movies, does not try to be outrageous and different. It only tries to be an old-time romantic comedy, and it succeeds. Finnegan is a real charmer.
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