Picks and Pans Review: Love Potion No.9

updated 11/30/1992 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/30/1992 01:00AM

Tate Donovan, Sandra Bullock

There should be a law that movies based on pop songs can't exceed the running time of their source material. In other words, this inane chronicle of nerds made irresistible by a magic elixir, based on the 1965 Jerry Leiber-Mike Stoller tune, is about 93 minutes too long.

Donovan, a shy biochemist, is such a complete flop with women that he ends up going to a fortune-teller (Anne Bancroft) for counsel. She offers him a tonic that promises to make him the equivalent of catnip to the ladies, even if he is irresistible for only four hours at a stretch.

He's dubious, but when he and a stringy-haired colleague (Bullock) observe the potion's aphrodisiac effect on animals, they decide to test it on themselves. Bullock, who previously couldn't gel the tide to take her out, is suddenly enchanting every man in sight. Donovan has been transformed into Casanova incarnate. Love Potion has its amusing moments, but they don't quite add up to nine. (PG-13)

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