Picks and Pans Review: Exit to Eden

updated 10/31/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 10/31/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

Dan Aykroyd, Dana Delaney, Rosie O'Donnell, Paul Mercurio, Iman

Whatever this is—buddy-cop comedy or buddy-cop-sleazoid-crime-caper—it is an insipid one, draggy and repulsive. Director Garry Marshall seems to be trying to do for sexual perversion in this film what he did for prostitution in Pretty Woman: sanitize it.

This film is adapted from a limp soft-core pornographic novel by monster maven Anne Rice about an island sex resort that caters to dominance/submission freaks. Screenwriters Deborah Amelon and Bob Brunner have embroidered on a tale about two Los Angeles undercover cops, Aykroyd and O'Donnell, chasing Mercurio, who has incriminating pictures he inadvertently took of a smuggling operation at an airport. Meanwhile, the smugglers, Iman and Stuart Wilson, are stalking Mercurio too.

While there are lots of attractive people running around in skimpy outfits, the film is never sexy. Marshall shows an obsession with Mercurio's buttocks, as well as with watching O'Donnell galumph around in various stages of semi-dress. But the director doesn't help his actors.

Delaney takes everything too seriously, as if to stress that she's slumming in this film. O'Donnell overdoes everything, blaring her lines even when she is doing a voice-over narrative or mocking Iman's accent, and throwing in lots of upstaging stage business even when she has only mundane lines. Iman looms all over the place looking modelly and cold, while Hector Elizondo, a Marshall crony, is trashed as the sexologist who planned the resort.

The concluding sequence is played like a halting action movie, with pauses left for jokes that aren't really there. (R)

From Our Partners