Picks and Pans Review: Forget Paris

updated 05/29/1995 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/29/1995 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Billy Crystal, Debra Winger

Winger, normally an actress of superior intelligence, has an extended sequence here requiring her to walk around with a pigeon, its wings flapping frantically, glued to the side of her face. This is meant to be funny. Mostly it's embarrassing.

Like the pigeon, Forget Paris keeps flapping its wings, but it never takes flight. A romantic comedy, the movie has the misfortune of opening hot on the shapelier heels of While You Were Sleeping and French Kiss, both more satisfying efforts. Then again, those two films are merely about falling in love, while Paris, directed and cowritten (with Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel) by Crystal, has more serious concerns on its mind. Paris is Crystal's Scenes from a Marriage, his Penny Serenade and Two for the Road. Take your pick. They're all in here as, once past a whirlwind courtship in Paris, his two main characters, an NBA referee (Crystal) and an airline publicist (Winger), discover that married life is tough going. Although Paris includes some snappy lines, the whole is draggy, repetitious and unconvincing.

What is a hoot here, at least for NBA fans, are the cranky cameos by such current and former hoopsters as Charles Barkley, David Robinson, Patrick Ewing, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Isiah Thomas and Spud Webb ("You're the only one I can talk to," the 5'8" Crystal tells the similarly vertically challenged Webb). If only the rest of this movie was appealing as these dribble-ons. (PG-13)

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