Considering the number of demonstrably talented people connected with Funny About Love, what’s funny about the picture is how unlovable it is. In fact, just about everything in the movie misfires, from the New York City setting that looks oddly like L.A. to the embarrassing (or embarrassed) performance by the heretofore reliable Christine Lahti (Running on Empty). The charmless script by Norman Steinberg and David Frankel is standard mid-life crisis stuff distinguished only by unsympathetic characters and sub-sitcom wit. Perhaps a comic alchemist like Ernst Lubitsch could have done something with the Dan Quayle and biological-clock jokes. But that kind of magic is beyond director Leonard Nimoy (whose Three Men and a Baby, in fairness, had a decent laugh quotient). Worst of all, star Gene Wilder does his overfamiliar adorable nebbish routine, even though his character’s predicament is more emotionally complex than Wilder’s usual slapshtick, perhaps a reaction to the actor’s own personal tragedy (the death of wife Gilda Radner). If Funny About Love was produced as a well-intentioned piece of occupational therapy, that’s understandable. It’s not, however, much of an incentive for a casual rental.
Genre: Romance, Comedy; Starring: Christine Lahti, Gene Wilder, Wendie Malick, Mary Stuart Masterson, Robert Prosky, Stephen Tobolowsky; Director: Leonard Nimoy; Author: David Frankel, Norman Steinberg; MPAA Rating: PG-13
Posted March 29 1991 — 12:00 AM EST
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