Picks and Pans Review: Dead Solid Perfect

updated 12/19/1988 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/19/1988 AT 01:00 AM EST

HBO (Sun., Dec. 18, 8 P.M. ET)

B+

Randy Quaid can do anything. He made Lyndon Johnson almost cuddly in LBJ: The Early Years. Now he manages to make golf almost exciting in Dead Solid Perfect. In this sassy tale from novelist Dan Jenkins, Quaid plays a pro with a mediocre stroke and a pathetic personal life. His wife, Kathryn (The Bronx Zoo) Harrold, is as bored with golf as she is with him, so she leaves. Then Quaid meets a young bartender (Corinne Bohrer) who's too lovely for his good. "I think I'm married," Quaid confesses to her, "but my wife's not." The barkeep doesn't mind. Meanwhile, Quaid finds a financial sponsor in Jack Warden as a sleazy, sexist, racist golf groupie called Bad Hair. Warden is a pain but he does have money: "I got the finest parents a man could ask for—rich and dead." So just as Quaid enters the U.S. Open, his luck, his love life and his bank account are all perking up. One way or another, this loser could turn into a winner. The story is nice and wry. The co-stars—Harrold, Warden, Bohrer, Larry Riley as the caddy and Brett (Knots Landing) Cullen as a fellow golf star—are uniformly wonderful. And Quaid is the best.

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