Picks and Pans Review: Deceived

updated 10/14/1991 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/14/1991 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Goldie Hawn, John Heard

In her film roles, at least, Hawn has shown a remarkable penchant for picking the wrong mate (The Sugarland Express, Private Benjamin). "I'm so lucky," she tells her latest husband (Heard) in Deceived. After all, she has a snazzy art-gallery job primping up priceless artifacts, she's nabbed a handsome museum curator and given birth to a lovely little girl.

Well, if you think Heard was a suspect husband and father in Home Alone, wait till you catch his act here. Suddenly a $4.5 million Egyptian necklace is missing, people start dying, and Hawn begins to wonder if she really knows the man she married.

Goldie is as beguiling as ever as she tracks down her husband's dark past with filaments of clues. Alas, her fans will miss her trademark hiccuping laugh. The film misses it, too, as Deceived veers uneasily from mystery to horror. Alfred Hitchcock understood the difference as well as the need for humor to relieve tension. Director Damian (The Rachel Papers) Harris lacks the master's deft hand. But who doesn't? Deceived is worth seeing, if only to watch Hawn and Heard spar. It's ultimately the underrated Heard's performance that propels the film; he is one of those rare actors (like, say, Ed Harris) whose open, corn-fed face can reflect good or evil with imperceptible shades of adjustment. (PG-13)

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