Picks and Pans Review: Surrender

updated 11/09/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/09/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST

This romantic comedy has some of the same star-quality panache as Suspect. It's not as striking, perhaps because Michael Caine and Sally Field have been around longer and their appeal has long since been taken for granted. Caine plays a popular mystery novelist who is a hopeless romantic, with the alimony and palimony decrees to prove it; he has finally decided to move to Kuwait. Field is an artist who supports herself by working on an assembly line that turns out landscapes for motel room walls. Theirs is not so mucha cute as a gag-me-with-a-spoon meet. They're guests at a lavish party when robbers burst in, tell everyone to take off their clothes, and tie people together. Caine and Field spend the evening bound to and snarling at each other, but needless to say they work out their differences. While writer-director Jerry Belson wrote such films as Smile and The End, his main experience is in television, co-writing The Dick Van Dyke Show and co-producing The Odd Couple. So it's no surprise that this movie moves along in little sitcom bursts. There's a marvelous scene in which Caine, an impatient as well as impassioned suitor, shows up four hours ahead of time for his first evening out with Field and says, "I know I'm early, but I didn't have anything else to do and was wondering if we could start our date now." When Caine calls his lawyer, Peter Boyle, to say that he is tired of ex-wife, ex-lover problems and announces, "I've decided to get rid of all the parasites in my life," Boyle responds, "Does that mean you're going to fire me?" The film has a bleached-out look—warmer, richer colors would have made a big difference—but it's a happy diversion, and it's nice to see Field flaunting her legs, being charmingly flustered and generally lightening up as a change of pace from her serious actress mode. (PG)

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