Lawrence O'Toole
September 20, 1991 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Waiting for the Light

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG
runtime
94 minutes
performer
Teri Garr, Shirley MacLaine, Jeff McCracken
director
Christopher Monger
distributor
RCA/Columbia Home Video
author
Christopher Monger
genre
Comedy

We gave it a D

Waiting for the Light entered and left theaters with the speed of light, but it promises to sit still forever on video-store shelves. Teri Garr, with two kids and an eccentric aunt (Shirley MacLaine) in tow, inherits a diner in the middle of nowhere during the Cuban Missile Crisis. A fake miracle, the result of a practical joke by the kids and MacLaine, turns the locale into a shrine. The pointlessly weird plot includes MacLaine having a stroke and then being partially cured by a bolt of lightning. There’s also a bizarre nostalgia for the Bay of Pigs panic. What such material needs, apart from a real miracle, is the swift, deft hand of a Preston Sturges (Miracle of Morgan’s Creek), but there’s hardly any Sturges-style irony or sophistication here. This movie seems to exist purely for the pleasure of those who find MacLaine’s late career as a would-be adorable curmudgeon irresistible, whoever they are. D

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