Tina (Andie MacDowell) and Jake (John Malkovich) are Americans on the bum in London, running up an outrageous tab at a posh hotel and shopping with dud plastic until they’re ready to drop. When a chambermaid snatches their only valuable possession, a miniature Henry Moore sculpture they’d planned to steal for the insurance money, what we witness, symbolically, is the Fall of the Yuppie Empire.
These are two of the most charmless characters ever to flash a Gold Card across the screen, a fact not entirely lost on writer-director Michael Lindsay-Hogg (Let It Be). Yet while occasionally satiric, The Object of Beauty remains too forgivingly fixated on money and its trappings, and this unpleasant pair hardly deserves their happy ending. It’s all supposed to be funny, sexy, and sophisticated, but at a time when there isn’t any money, this movie seems like a bad and arrogant joke. D+