'Mannequin Two': More life than the original

May 21, 1991|By Lou Cedrone | Lou Cedrone,Evening Sun Staff

This time, they got it right. ''Mannequin Two: On the Move'' is an improvement over the original film that appeared four years ago.

The new film is nothing great, mind you. It's just a little movie that hopes to give us a laugh or two and make us feel good for having seen it. It does.

The new film begins in medieval times, with a young prince hoping to elope with a beautiful peasant girl.

He's smart. She's the prettiest thing around, but his mama, the queen, does not approve. Sounding like a Jewish mother, the queen mother tells the boy to forget the girl. ''She's a peasant. Come home, and we'll talk about it over a little mutton,'' she says.

But before they can do that, the palace wizard has given the girl a necklace that turns her into a mannequin, and 1,000 years later, we are in that department store where the boy is hoping to earn his way through community college.

He happens to remove the necklace, the girl comes to life, and it's ''Pretty Woman'' all over again. Well, you can't blame the producers. Kristy Swanson, as the mannequin-come-to-life, is an exceptionally pretty sight. Looking more than a little like Julia Roberts, she tries on a lot of clothes and even wears a hat similar to one Roberts wore in ''Pretty Woman.''

There is also a little ''Splash'' here, and that doesn't hurt. Having William Ragsdale play the boy is another advantage. He and Swanson do a lot to make you like this film.

So does Meshach Taylor, a regular on ''Designing Women.'' Taylor, as a window dresser, was a flaming homosexual in the first film. He continues to blaze in the second, but homosexuals probably won't mind. Taylor's gay is all camp, and the script treats him with respect.

Sometimes, he's the funniest thing in the film. Sometimes, the funniest character is the sorcerer, played by Terry Kiser who, 1,000 years later, is Count Spretzel. Sometimes the count

sounds German, and sometimes he sounds Italian, but that's the way this film goes. It won't live on as a classic, but if its 95 minutes of light entertainment you want, this should do it.

''Mannequin Two: On the Move'' is showing locally. The producers didn't want critics to see it ahead of time. They did, however, allow us to see ''What About Bob?'' and ''Stone Cold'' ahead of time, both of which were duds. Sometimes, they don't really know what they have.

"Mannequin Two: On the Move" ** A young man working in a department store falls in love with a mannequin who is really a pretty peasant girl more than 1,000 years old.

CAST: Kristy Swanson, William Ragsdale, Meshack Taylor, Terry Kiser, Cynthia Harris, Julie Foreman

DIRECTOR: Stewart Raffill

RATING: PG (language)

( RUNNING TIME: 95 minutes

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