Picks and Pans Review: Three Men and a Little Lady

updated 12/03/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/03/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

Tom Selleck, Ted Danson, Steve Guttenberg

What was an amusing trifle back in 1987, Three Men and a Baby, has been reprised as a hollow, laborious romance. The first time around, the hunk triumvirate had to deal with what seemed to them to be such alien rites of infancy as diapers and baby bottles. Now that their little darling, here played by Robin Weisman, is a bright-eyed first grader, the issues have evolved into responsibility and attachment, which as hard as director Emile (Chances Are) Ardolino pushes them are not funny.

Going nowhere slowly, Ardolino packs up the entire show and moves it to England. (Such sudden geographic changes usually signal desperation, especially in comedies.) There our lucky bachelors must set about stopping the girl's mother, Nancy (Internal Affairs) Travis, from marrying the wrong guy, and instead convince her to walk down the aisle with someone who has loved her all along.

Every relationship in this film seems false. That lack of authenticity is due in large part to lazy acting—none of it worse than that of Guttenberg, who really should have his SAG card revoked. Danson mysteriously disappears for long stretches of the movie. Perhaps he was just off seeing to Cheers commitments, but he couldn't be blamed if he were simply hiding in his trailer.

There's a get-me-to-the-church-on-time finish, but by then you'll be wishing the little lady would just take off and run away. (Hey, the Balboas have an extra cot in Philly.) (PG)

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