Melissa Pierson
October 18, 1996 AT 04:00 AM EDT

What are the odds of winning the video lottery when the tickets are those endless rows of vaguely familiar boxes? With these two romances your chances are exactly fifty-fifty. The loser is Solitaire for Two, which fancies itself another Four Weddings and a Funeral. Daniel (the late Mark Frankel), an impossibly Machiavellian operator, and Katie (a smug Amanda Pays), an uptight paleontologist with the annoying ability to read minds, come together as a fatally mismatched couple — much to the viewer’s continuing chagrin. A Modern Affair, on the other hand, has one significant advantage: a lead who doesn’t make you want to cringe. The appealing Lisa Eichhorn (Nick of Time) plays Grace, a New York exec whose biological clock is about to chime midnight. After success at the sperm bank, she falls for donor No. 247, a.k.a. Peter (Stanley Tucci, codirector-cowriter-star of Big Night). Actually, Affair is like a scratch-card lottery in which you just win back your money. And, here, that’s just enough.
Solitaire: C-
Affair: B

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