Picks and Pans Review: Faithful
You know those jokes your Uncle Max used to tell, the ones with the endless setup leading to a potent punch line? Well, that's Faithful: It's yap, yap, yap, and most of the yapping is just marking time until a truly funny final 10 minutes.
This black comedy was adapted by Palminteri from his own play and remains claustrophobically stage-bound. He plays a hit man hired by an unfaithful husband (O'Neal) to whack his wife (Cher). The killer breaks into the wealthy couple's mansion and ties Cher to a chair. Then, while he waits for O'Neal's telephoned signal to pull the trigger, Palminteri and Cher jaw about love, sex and big truths.
Palminteri fares best here, having cleverly given himself all the snappiest lines. (Men can't be faithful, he says, because "there are too many cocktail waitresses today.") Cher huffs and puffs but is hamstrung by having to spend much of the film tied to that chair. As for O'Neal, someone forgot to flip his "on" switch on. (R)
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