Picks and Pans Review: People I Know

UPDATED 05/05/2003 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 05/05/2003 at 01:00 AM EDT

Al Pacino, Kim Basinger, Téa Leoni, Ryan O'Neal

Keeping a client's name out of the papers is sometimes as key for a publicist as getting him ink. That's true for Eli Wurman (Pacino), a once-mighty Manhattan flack, when his last big movie-star client (O'Neal) demands that he babysit a troubled TV actress (Leoni) after O'Neal dumps her following a drug-fueled fling. When she winds up dead, Wurman may know too much.

People I Know starts off promisingly but quickly stumbles over its own conspiracy theories. Indulging in a southern accent that would scare even Scarlett O'Hara, Pacino chews the scenery. In her brief role Leoni is jokingly good, while Basinger, as Wurman's sister-in-law, has little to do but appear puzzled, a suitable reaction to the goings-on. (R)

BOTTOM LINE: No major need to Know

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