Picks and Pans Review: A Cool, Dry Place
In this dowdy domestic drama, released by Fox without so much as a boo, Vaughn plays a hotshot lawyer who has quit a major Chicago firm to raise his little son in a small town. The boy's mother (Potter) has up and walked out on the family, and now, just as Vaughn is beginning to date a pleasant, emotionally frank local woman (Joey Lauren Adams), who should come waltzing back?
A Cool, Dry Place is basically a variation on 1979's Kramer vs. Kramer, but minus the versus. The custody struggle over the boy is, dramatically speaking, as limp as a cat after an hour of massage.
Vaughn, with his sleepy charm, understated humor and slightly dissipated handsomeness—he looks like a matinee idol who has stayed out too many nights—is always fun to watch. But Potter (Robin Williams's true love in Patch Adams) is saddled with a role of almost undiluted stupidity. The mother is annoyingly mopey and hopelessly inarticulate. She wouldn't have the mental wherewithal to win custody of a fruit bowl. (PG-13)
Bottom Line: Deserves a quick, quiet burial