MOVIESDafoe delivers"Light Sleeper" is either a return to...

WEEKEND PICKS

September 05, 1992|By Stephen Hunter VIDEO It's a troll, Vern

MOVIES

Dafoe delivers

"Light Sleeper" is either a return to form or an imitation of form. It's hard to say which. Written and directed by Paul Schrader, it seems to be another version of Schrader's revered "Taxi Driver." Still, it has some mesmerizing power. Willem Dafoe plays a drug delivery boy who, at 40, begins to wonder what's next for him. Schrader's feel for New York night life is convincing, as is Dafoe's almost childlike performance. R. ** 1/2 . Jim Varney may never be confused with either Francois Truffaut or Frances Ford Coppola or even Francis the Talking Mule, but his flubber-faced impersonation of all-around moron and good guy Ernest P. Worrell deserves some kind of recognition. In "Ernest Scared Stupid," he's matched against a troll whom he's accidentally freed. Eartha Kitt even puts in an appearance. Ernest could read the telephone book and crack people up. PG. **.

Stephen Hunter Life imitates Garth. How's this for a double blurring of reality and parody on Garry Shandling's "The Larry Sanders Show" at 10:30 tonight on HBO? Larry (Shandling) hands over his talk show desk to a guest host played by Dana Carvey (Garth of "Wayne's World"). But the guest host does so well he is offered his own talk show, which is big trouble for the beleaguered Larry. Now, in real life (such as it is in TV), isn't it Carvey who has suddenly made David Letterman expendable to NBC and is certain to get his own talk show on the network? And isn't there some talk about a show for Shandling, too? And . . . never mind.

Steve McKerrow

THEATER

Revamped 'Aspects'

"Aspects of Love" was Andrew Lloyd Webber's only Broadway flop -- despite a score of soaring love songs. But now director Robin Phillips has totally revamped this tale of (x intertwined romances, and the new aspects of "Aspects" are definite improvements. The stylishly simplified physical production reinforces the joint themes of love and art, and the result is that, though we still don't care about the characters, we at least begin to understand them. Weekend performances are today and tomorrow at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. at Washington's Kennedy Center. Tickets are $27.50-$55. Call (800) 444-1324.

Winfred Walsh

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