'He Said, She Said' needs more wit, more Baltimore

On movies

February 22, 1991|By Lou Cedrone

HE SAID, She Said'' apparently means to echo the Doris Day-Rock Hudson, Spencer Tracy-Katharine Hepburn comedies of previous decades, but it never quite makes it. The film, done in Baltimore, has its moments of wit, but for the most part is overlong and more than a bit confusing.

There are other liabilities. The principal characters are cute on introduction, then become increasingly tiresome on continued contact. The aging Peter Pan who doesn't want to grow up, doesn't want to commit and has sex with two partners concurrently has become a bit irritating, mainly because he was never that sympathetic to begin with.

The girl, too, is an irritant. Not at first but certainly as the film progress. She locks her lover out of the apartment, something he knows all too well because his belongings are all over the stairs. The scene may play cute, but you wouldn't want it to happen to you.

The film is done from his and her viewpoints, and that leads to confusion. At times, you forget that these are separate accounts.

Elizabeth Perkins and Kevin Bacon are the stars. They do a lot to make the proceedings more entertaining then they really are.

Baltimore is another star of the film. Ordinarily, that might be enough to make the movie enticing to local audiences, but most of the film could have been elsewhere, anywhere. Aside from the Peabody Court Restaurant, one or two street corners and views of the Baltimore skyline, there is not too much that Baltimoreans will recognize in the film.

The battling lovers work at The Baltimore Sun as co-columnists considering the same subjects, in juxtaposition on the printed page. Their success as newspaper columnists takes them to WBAL-TV where most of the fun takes place in this film. These portions are amusing. Much of the rest is not, including a sequence in which younger people are questioned about the use of condoms.

At this point, and at others, the film plays like all the television shows that specialize in sex comedy.

The producers didn't use the editorial offices of The Sun. They rented space in the Signet Tower and redid it as The Sun city room. But the Baltimore skyline is there.

Ken Kwapis and Marisa Silver did the direction for the film, one that seems to have the same tone throughout. You really can't tell where his work ends and hers begins.

''He Said, She Said'' ** Co-columnists on The Baltimore Sun fall in love then split.

CAST: Kevin Bacon, Elizabeth Perkins, Anthony La Paglia, Sharon Stone, Stanley Anderson

DIRECTORS: Marisa Silver, Ken Kwapis

RATING: PG-13 (language, nudity)

) RUNNING TIME: 115 minutes

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