Picks and Pans Review: I Love Trouble

updated 07/11/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/11/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Nick Nolte, Julia Roberts

You know a movie has the blahs when you can't decide which of the following you care about less: whether the couple onscreen will solve the mystery or get into bed with each other. Straight out of the His Girl Friday school of newspaper romances, Trouble is anemically formulaic and completely uninspired.

Nolte and Roberts play rival Chicago reporters working on the same story. He's a famous columnist who hasn't done any real legwork in years. She's the tyro with drive and instincts. They are, of course, meant for each other, which means we have to sit through scenes of them calling each other by their last names and trading pusillanimous insults. (He: "You're not my type." She: "I didn't know you had a type." He: "I do, the opposite of you." She: "What, tall, dark and stupid?")

The team of Charles Shyer and Nancy Meyers (he directs, she produces, and together they write the scripts), who showed real flair in such films as 1987's Baby Boom and '91's Father of the Bride, comes up empty here. Nolte, working at half speed and seemingly bored, sports a preternatural tan that keeps threatening to turn orange. Roberts, all fierce rectitude and legs, confuses feistiness with smarts. (PG)

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