Picks and Pans Review: Born Yesterday

updated 04/05/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 04/05/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Melanie Griffith, Don Johnson, John Goodman

In this remake of the 1950 classic, Griffith poses no threat to the memory of Judy Holliday as Billie Dawn, the dim-bulb, bighearted mistress of a coarse bully of a tycoon (here played by Goodman).

In Washington to persuade some Senators to keep open a military base near one of his mammoth real estate developments, Goodman becomes concerned that former Las Vegas showgirl Griffith is a liability to his image. When asked her thoughts on the collapse of the Eastern bloc, she wants more information: "When the block collapsed, was there just property damage or were people hurt?" To "smarten her up," Goodman hires an egghead reporter (Johnson) but comes to regret the decision when Griffith starts wising off—and falling in love with her bespectacled Pygmalion. Goodman has the requisite brutishness but fails to convey what would have made Griffith fall for him in the first place. Johnson performs like an aging juvenile in summer stock, while Griffith merely does a variation on her previous airhead roles. (PG)

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