'The Butcher's Wife' is definitely a cut above

On movies

October 29, 1991|By Lou Cedrone

''The Butcher's Wife'' is a film brimming with sweetness, charm and good humor. It brings the vintage French and English comedies to mind, those movies that were always referred to as ''little.''

''The Butcher's Wife'' may well be "little," but it is also thoroughly delightful. It's a film that includes a continuously amusing collection of characters we might all like to know.

The lead character is Marina, played by Demi Moore. Marina is a clairvoyant who lives in North Carolina. She is convinced she must marry the first fisherman who appears on her shore, on a particular day.

He is Leo Lemke, a butcher played by George Dzundza. Leo is not exactly a clairvoyant's dream. He is nice, but portly. Marina, however, marries him and returns with him to his home in Greenwich Village.

There, she works with her husband in his meat shop, where she comforts her customers and predicts the turns their lives will take, all to the better.

fTC One woman, a choir coach, wants to sing like Bessie Smith. She is told she will. Another woman, who is keeping company with the local psychiatrist, is told that true love will come to her but in a form different from the usual.

Mary Steenburgen plays the choir coach, who is in love with the butcher but knows she cannot see him. She has never been more amusing.

Jeff Daniels, no small asset to this film, plays the local psychiatrist who discovers that his patients are finding as much solace through Marina, so he goes knocking at her door.

There is a lot of that in the film, door knocking. It gets to be a continuing joke, but like the rest of the film, never irritates.

''The Butcher's Wife,'' with excellent comic performances from Moore, Daniels, Steenburgen, Dzundza, Margaret Colin and Frances McDormand, is a small pleasure. Don't let it get away.

''The Butcher's Wife''

*** A Greenwich Village butcher marries a clairvoyant who brings comfort to her husband's customers.

CAST: Demi Moore, Jeff Daniels, Mary Steenburgen, George Dzundza, Margaret Colin, Frances McDormand

DIRECTOR: Terry Hughes


RUNNING TIME: 104 minutes

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