Picks and Pans Review: Forever, Lulu

updated 05/04/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/04/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Let's all just pretend this film never happened, in deference to the distinguished career of its star, German actress Hanna (The Marriage of Maria Braun) Schygulla. She plays a struggling novelist on New York's lower East Side who happens upon a small fortune in drug money when she accidentally holds up a dealer. This may not sound like much of a comedy, but it sounds a lot better than it plays. Director Amos (Goodbye, New York) Kollek wrote the lame dialogue, then set up some dull scenes and cast them with compulsive overactors. That excludes rock singer Deborah Harry. While she is in the movie (and gets second billing), she has only about two lines, spending most of the time hanging around the periphery of various street scenes looking frowsy. Schygulla floats through the production with a regal serenity, though even an actress of her commanding presence could no more carry this film than she could tote a piano across the Sahara. While she appeared in the TV mini-series Peter the Great, this is her first American feature, and when she says (in only barely accented English), "Take a hike, babe. You're history," it's hard to avoid cringing. In structure, location and plot, this film bears some resemblance to Desperately Seeking Susan, but most of the resemblance is in the desperation department. (R)

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