Picks and Pans Review: Worth Winning

updated 11/13/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/13/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST

Mark Harmon, Madeleine Stowe

It's hard to know who should be more embarrassed.

There's Harmon, who plays a Philadelphia TV weatherman. He is supposed to be such an unreconstructed male chauvinist that he is willing to sign a contract for a bet with a friend, Mark (Blind Date) Blum, that he (Harmon) can get three hard-to-reach women to accept his completely insincere marriage proposals. At the same time, he is supposed to be at heart a really lovable guy. You got yourself into this, Mr. Harmon; you get yourself out.

There's Stowe (Stakeout), as one of the three women. She's a superliberated concert pianist who generally disdains any man who hasn't won a Nobel Prize, but it turns out, of course, that down deep she's really hankering to melt in the arms of a hunky smoothie like Harmon. The other two women involved in the bet are Lesley Ann Warren, who ends up looking truly pathetic in an S&M leather lingerie outfit, and young Maria Holvoe. SCTV alumna Andrea Martin, whose feature movie career has been unaccountably undistinguished, plays Blum's wife.

There's director Will (Moonlighting) Mackenzie and his writers, Sara Parriott and Josann McGibbon, who for some reason seem to think it's very clever to have Harmon carrying on a running conversation with the camera, saying such things as, "If I hadn't signed that damned contract, I wouldn't put up with this crap for a minute." This is not very funny. It also should offer a simple and cost-conscious suggestion to potential audience members: If you do not buy a ticket (and thereby sign a kind of contract), you will not have to put up with it either. (PG-13)

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