Picks and Pans Review: Nuns on the Run

updated 03/26/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/26/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

Eric Idle, Robby Coltrane

Since the basic plot of this film—third-rate gangsters trying to abscond with some of their boss's loot—was pretty well covered in the 1986 Danny DeVito-Joe Piscopo vehicle, Wise Guys, there isn't much new here. Unless, of course, you share the British predilection for cross-dressing humor.

Benny Hill is the most flagrant practitioner of this odd form of comedy, but Idle's old troupe, Monty Python, had a penchant for it too. Here Idle and Coltrane, a British TV performer, hide out in a nunnery after they double-cross their old criminal chums. Screenwriter-director Jonathan Lynn goes for the obvious jokes—Coltrane overseeing a girl's gym class and following his students into the shower room, Idle and Coltrane switching clothes with nurses, love interest Camille Coduri girlishly confiding in Idle.

There are some funny moments, such as Idle, as a non-Catholic, trying to give an impromptu lecture on the Holy Trinity. Most of the humor, though, revolves around ramshackle slapstick and Idle and Coltrane's habit problems. This is all lamp-shade-on-the-head-caliber stuff, a potential hit at a transvestite film festival but not all that interesting otherwise. (PG-13)

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