Picks and Pans Review: No Looking Back

updated 04/06/1998 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 04/06/1998 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Edward Burns, Lauren Holly

Writer-director-actor Burns (The Brothers McMullen) sets his third movie in a working-class ocean town that runs along a boardwalk of clichés. A 30ish waitress (Holly) is uncertain whether or not she wants to settle down with her blue-collar boyfriend (Jon Bon Jovi). She's tired of the monotony: The streets are always damp with drizzle, every day ends with a bottle of beer from the fridge, and Bruce Springsteen keeps moaning his bleak ballads on the soundtrack. Well, who should blow back into town but Burns, the big creep who broke her heart a few years ago and then skedaddled. Will he woo her away? Betray her again? If they do leave town, would someone please put some ABBA on the jukebox?

Even in her waitress's uniform, Holly, with her model-slim figure and taut, pretty triangle of a face, looks as if she were holding a little black dress to her body and studying the effect in a department-store mirror. Bon Jovi gives a nice, unaffected performance in a decent-Joe role. As for Burns, doing a sexy-drifter number, he over-underplays the part. He's just driftwood. (R)

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