Disappointing script, ho-hum direction undermine 'He Said, She Said'

August 09, 1991|By Josh Mooney | Josh Mooney,Los Angeles Times Syndicate

HE SAID, SHE SAID

Paramount Home Video

No price given

"Rashomon" meets "His Girl Friday" -- well, don't they wish? Two Baltimore newspaper reporters meet on the job, clash and fall in love -- and we see their funny, tempestuous relationship first from his perspective, then from hers -- because, as we all know, men and women see things differently. As potentially clever ideas go, this is a good one.

But this modern screwball comedy suffers from an unimpressive script, lackluster directing (The "He Said" segment is helmed by Ken Kwapis; "She Said" is directed by Marissa Silver), and a couple of talented actors, Kevin Bacon and Elizabeth Perkins, who take their screen romance exactly nowhere.

AWAKENINGS

RCA/Columbia Pictures Home Video

No price given

"Awakenings," while blamed by cynics as the film that's inspired a whole host of affliction-of-the-week movies that will be coming soon, is nevertheless an affecting drama that takes chances, by Hollywood standards.

First, it is not a movie with a happy ending. The drama is heightened by several crucial elements. The film is based on the startling, true accounts of psychiatrist and author Oliver Sacks, who worked with catatonic patients. Robin Williams, who plays the movie version of the doc (Dr. Sayer), is again quite good in a dramatic role, showing range and subtlety it's always surprising to see from such a manic comedian.

Robert De Niro is brilliant as a brain-diseased patient who, in something of a medical miracle, wakes up, thanks to an experimental drug, after many years in a near catatonic state.

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