Picks and Pans Review: Other People's Money

updated 11/04/1991 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/04/1991 AT 01:00 AM EST

Danny DeVito, Penelope Ann Miller

DeVito plays a Wall Street raider known as Larry the Liquidator in this disappointing, Capra-esque adaptation of the hit off-Broadway play.

There is nothing Larry likes better than money. But the money dearest is other people's money. Currently, Larry has his beady little eyes on the debtfree New England Wire & Cable Company. He figures it will be easy pickings. He doesn't figure on Gregory Peck, the company's upstanding CEO, or on Miller, the beautiful lawyer representing New England Wire in the takeover battle.

Unfortunately, Other People's Money is not coming out soon enough to be timely nor with enough distance from the '80s to offer insight into the takeover era. And the performances don't make up the deficit. DeVito is fine as the money-mad corporate raider, but lie has been playing a greedy conniver since his Taxi days. Indeed, he has gleefully rubbed his hands together so often in so many roles, it's a wonder he has any fingerprints left.

As Larry's opponent in a game of cat-and-mouse, Miller spends most of her time purring and posing; there is little in her portrayal to suggest she has the mental equipment or killer instinct to cut Larry down to size. Peck has little to do but look noble and deliver lines that seem more suited for stage or pulpit than screen. While not a total loss—there are lessons about the ways and means of hostile takeovers—Other People's Money does not provide a great return on investment. (R)

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