Duds for dads: Robin Williams and Billy Crystal in Father's Day
(12) 99 mins H
Where would Hollywood comedies be without hit French films to remake? Surely not in a worse position than this hopeless, hapless effort, based on Veber’s Les Comperes, which pitches two contemporary comedy stars into a plot that never does justice to their talents.
Sharp-suited, super self-confident Jack Lawrence (Billy Crystal) is a successful attorney, while pleasing simpleton Dale Putley (Robin Williams) is a suicidal would-be writer. They have something in common, however: both have dated the lovely Colette (Nastassia Kinski). In her frantic attempts to track down her wayward teenage son Scott (Charlie Hofheimer), Colette convinces each of her contrasting former suitors that they are
the boy's real dad, and it is nothing less than their paternal duty to find him and bring him home.
With varying degrees of reluctance, they set out to look for the wee scamp, and are ever so surprised to discover each other bound on the self- same task, labouring under the self- same de|u5ion So they argue before Joining forces for some character development (2222), bonding (urrgggh) and pratfalls (tsk, tsk).
Of course there are some funny moments here —‘ it would be ludicrous to have absolutely none in a film that stars two comedy stars of the calibre of Crystal and Williams. But somehow being cast together produces only half the laughs, not double, as if they cancel each other out. (Anwar Brett)
I General release from Fri 70 Oct.
subUrbia (18) 121 mins *1:
HaVing carved out a Hollywood career on the back of his micro-budget, generation-defining Slacker, Richard Linklater has confirmed his promise (With the Superb Dazed And Confused) and intimated baffling mediocrity (the underwhelming Before Sunrise). The latest, adapted from a play by Eric Bogosian, furthers his attempt to sum up the same generation he helped give a name to, but unfortunately falls prey to the Wishy-was‘hy impulses that undermined its predecessor.
Like Dazed And Confused, subUrbia is an American Graffiti-esgue profile of a Single night in a small town i only for riding cars, read hanging around the all-night convenience
28 THE lIST lO Oct—23 Oct 1997
Young Americans: Nicky Katt in subUrbia
store. Up for inspection are a selection of middle-American teens, among them the hopelessly well-meaning Jeff (Giovanni Rihisi), wannabe performance artist Son/e (Amie Carey) and Nam poster-hey Tim (Nicky Kattl The highlight of the night promises to be a Visit from a former school pal who, in sharp contrast With their own muddled aspirations, has actually made it as a rock musician Unfortunately, however, the characters are too obviously schematic to achieve the casual sense of xeitgeist Linklater has managed before, the stagey, theatrical origins of the piece don't help either Long below the end, you cease to care ahout the fate 7 happy, frustrated or otherWise of the collection of unfortunatc‘is at its centre (Andrew Pulveri I Selected release from Fri 17 Oct
ALSO OPENING Free Willy 3: The Rescue (U) 86 mins Boy and killer whale team up again to drive home an environmental message for the 905. This time Willy the orca is about to become a dad himself, but his family is threatened by the hunters on a whaling boat. Old friend Jesse (Jason James Richter), now t7-years- old, is working on a research vessel, but he hasn't got enough evidence to convince the authorities that there's anything illegal going on.
Richter's all grown up, but the film
Whale meat again: Free Willy 3
manages to have another dysfunctional family sub-plot hiding up its sleeve. Max (Vincent Berry), the young son of whale hunter John Wesley (Patrick Kilpatrick), comes to realise that his dad’s line of work isn’t very appealing and it's down to
him to sabotage a fishing trip.
Better than its bland predecessor, Free Willy 3 develops the usual formula, and benefits from moulding the character of Wesley as an old-style hunter rather than the corporate villains of previous instalments. (Alan Morrison)
I General release from Fri 70 Oct.
RE-RELEASE Jour De Fete (PG) 89 mins i: ‘k *
Procession time in Jour De Rate
The issue of colourising a black-and-white movie is one that has film purists up in arms, but they needn’t worry here as the Jacques Tati classic was originally shot in colour. Unfortunately for the director-star, however, no French laboratory was able to process the colour negative, so it was released in monochrome.
Restored in France for the Centenary of Cinema, this new print lets the fairground scenes burst into life, adding a vibrancy to the daily routine of the Villagers. Tati plays a bike-riding postman who attempts to improve his performance after watching an American documentary on the US Mail service. His is a brand of comedy that can leave audiences in stiches while others remain entirely unmoved. Laughs aside, the film does have a charm as it depicts an entire
community of eccentrics. (Alan Morrison)
I Glasgow Film Theatre from Fri 70 Oct. Edinburgh Fl/lTl/lOUSE’ from Mon 20 Oct.
I ALSO OPENING
A Simple Wish (PG) 90 mins
When she makes a Wish for her Singer- actor dad to land the lead in a Broadway musical, Mara Wilson (of
Matilda fame) finds herself saddled “
With Murray, a bumbling fairy godfather in the shape of Martin Short. As if it's not bad enough that Murray doesn't know one end of his wand from the other, the duo also have to contend With Vindictive, excommunicated fairy godmother
C lauclia (Kathleen Turner) who has Martin Short and Mara Wilson in A Simple
snaffled all the power from the North American Fairy Godmothers‘ Assooation.
The magic world of the fairytale is updated to the 90s for a colourful but ultimately sickly sweet kids mowe that features good effects, a riotous performance from Short and another smart turn from young Wilson (Alan Morrison)
'1 General release from Fri I7 Oct