Picks and Pans Review: Splitting Heirs
Despite the pleasure and promise of the onscreen reunion of Monty Pythonites Cleese and Idle and their teaming with Moranis (their American counterpart among today's best comic actors), this labored farce, written by Idle, drags painfully.
Idle and Moranis are competing to inherit an English duchy left duke-less by the death of Hershey's husband. Cleese has a scant few scenes as a sharkish lawyer who wants to help Idle kill Moranis. The only cast member who shows much life is Zeta Jones, who as Moranis's fiancée is charged only with not wearing many clothes and looking gorgeous; she succeeds splendidly on both counts.
Director Robert Young has little aptitude for comedy. And he is working with what is an Idle script in more ways than one. Even the physical comedy is unimaginative, tending to such moves as Idle falling face first into a pile of cow dung. (PG-13)