Video Review

Noises Off (1992)

MPAA Rating: PG-13
EW's GRADE
C

Details Movie Rated: PG-13; Genre: Comedy; With: Carol Burnett and Michael Caine

Nothing is as murderous on a farce as film. Its mechanics can work beautifully from the distance of the stage, as they did in Noises Off, Michael Frayn's 1983 hit play about yet another farce — a low British sex comedy called Nothing On — staggering during tryouts on its way to Broadway. But the closeness of the home screen points up every flaw in Peter Bogdanovich's futile adaptation: anorectic visuals, bloated acting, broad timing, and often dull direction. The cast members — Michael Caine, Carol Burnett, Christopher Reeve, Marilu Henner, John Ritter, Denholm Elliott, and Julie Hagerty — are all game, but it's exhausting watching actors try so hard. All this play needs is a stage. C

Originally posted Dec 18, 1992 Published in issue #149 Dec 18, 1992 Order article reprints