Picks and Pans Review: Memories of Me

updated 10/10/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/10/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Remember Nothing in Common, the superb 1986 comedy-drama in which Tom Hanks tries to make peace with his ailing dad, played by Jackie Gleason? Well, actor-co-producer-co-writer Billy Crystal, actor-co-producer Alan King and Henry (the Fonz) Winkler in his debut as director must remember the picture too because they've just done an uncredited remake of it. Alas, they didn't remake it right. Hanks, as the workaholic son, was funny; Crystal is frantic. As the failed father, Gleason was great; King is grating. In the original, Garry Marshall directed with a light touch; Winkler uses a sledgehammer. Crystal plays a heart surgeon who has just had a mild heart attack. During his recuperation, he begins to relive his past by watching old home movies of his childhood. Duck! It's the rose-tinted taint of nostalgia, which soon infects the picture like the Blob. Crystal flies into the arms of his dad, an insufferable hambone of a Hollywood extra. They argue, they joke, they nosh until King starts getting dizzy spells. Okay, this is not the first movie that uses a fatal disease to wrench tears. But it is one of the few to have a doomed character fret that no one will show at his funeral. And it's surely the only one that tries to get laughs by having mourners decked out as space creatures and vegetables. This movie isn't simply bad; it's shameless. (PG-13)

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