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Town & Country

Starring Warren Beatty, Diane Keaton, Andie MacDowell, Garry Shandling, Jenna Elfman, Nastassja Kinski and Goldie Hawn
Screenplay by Michael Laughlin and Buck Henry
Directed by Peter Chelsom

IN SHORT: Ignore the names and Pass it by. [Rated R for sexuality and language. 110 minutes]

It doesn't happen often but every once in a while we sit through a movie that makes us go home and climb into bed and never want to come out again. One so tedious and pointless, with characters we don't give a damn about and comedy that elicits no more than a couple of chuckles, that it is physically exhausting to sit through. All the A-List actors in the world cannot give a point to a script that doesn't seem to have a point or, more precisely, cannot make us care about the point it is trying to make.

That point is that at least once in twenty plus years of marriage, one partner is going to screw up bad and the other partner has got to make a passionless decision as to what comes next. We think.

Naked cellist Alex ( Nastassja Kinski) has a pair of tattoos on her back which is about as clever as Town & Country ever gets. Peter Stoddard (Warren Beatty) is naked in the bed, immediately regretting his one and only dalliance from the marital bed. Lest twenty five years of wedded bliss to the lovely Ellie ( Diane Keaton) go down the drain, Peter is going to keep his mouth and his pants shut.

Not doing the latter is Griffen Morris (Garry Shandling), husband of Stoddard's long-time friend Mona (Goldie Hawn) who files for divorce after following her hubby of twenty years to the motel where he's nailing a redhead on the side. Mona, as revealed in the trailer and commercials, is a hypocrite about her own trysts, but that bit vanishes quickly. And while the two couples roil under the news, a mysterious and never seen "friend" conveniently calls Ellie "on the phone" to clue her in that Peter's messing around.

Well, yes, of course he bedded Kinski a second time. The women in this story, which will include Andie MacDowell and Jenna Elfman are just throwing themselves at him. It isn't as if he's looking for action, once he's been tossed out of the house he's a babe magnet. We should all do that well as Social Security approaches. . .

Eugenie Claybourne (MacDowell) has got a lunatic set of parents. Mom's (Marian Seldes) got a dirty mouth and an electric wheelchair. Dad (Charleton Heston) wants to battle Stoddard before he'll allow his daughter bedding rights. There's a couple of laughs in there somewhere but they're not enough and they come far too late for us to recommend that you get on a ticket line.

"The Buzz" has been bad on this flick for a long time, but we don't pay attention to that. An article in the NY Times reported that the film started production before the script was finished, which we believe. With the right descriptive material -- the stuff in a script you never see -- Town & Country could have read like a sophisticated adult comedy. In execution, it isn't.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Town & Country, he would have paid . . .


We can't give it a zero for the waste of talent because nothing for the rest of this year is going to come close to Freddy Got Fingered for lousiness.

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