Picks and Pans Review: Indecent Proposal
updated 04/19/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 04/19/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT
They don't make 'em like this anymore, and with good reason. Indecent Proposal is a big, swank star romance that has as much interest in reality as Hillary Rodham Clinton has in redecorating the White House. It suckers you in early on through its sheer professionalism and glitz, but soon its sappy heart and lack of substance will leave you feeling like a sap for watching it.
Moore and Harrelson play the perfect married couple—she sells real estate, he's an architect—blessed with love, looks and a fabulous sex life. Cleaned out by the recession, they head for Vegas with their last $5,000 to raise the $50,000 they need to cover their debts. Enter Redford as a billionaire high roller. He offers the couple a cool $1 million if Moore will spend one night with him. Oh, no: What to do? (Hint: Check out the similarly plotted, but funnier, Honeymoon In Vegas.) If the filmmakers—director Adrian Lyne and producer Sherry Lansing, the same team responsible for the equally slick Fatal Attraction—honestly think Indecent Proposal explores a moral dilemma, it's time they enrolled in Ethics 101.
What's best is the high-wattage cast. Moore looks great and makes the most of her limpid brown eyes and throat) voice, Harrelson, sincere. sexy and boyishly charming, continues to establish himself as a welcome big-screen presence. Least effective is Redford—looking every one of his 55 years—who seems more intent on convincing us, and Moore, that he is really a nice guy than in exploring his character's darker side. (R)