Joshua Rich
June 13, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Cort, producer of Three Men and a Baby and Runaway Bride, employs breezy prose in this epic turn through Hollywood’s past half century. But his simplistic story of a fictional showbiz exec is as trite as its title, the juiciest parts coming at the predictable expense of famously troubled folks like carousing Steve McQueen, comely actress Romy Schneider, cocky producer Julia Phillips, and coked-up exec Don Simpson (the dead, you’ll remember, can’t sue for libel). Of course, appreciation of Action! depends on recognizing many of the players–a drawback Cort compounds with repeated use of such insidery clunkers as ‘He’ laughed like a man paid 10 percent to do so.’ Cut!

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