Essentially this is Peter Falk, Michael V. Gazzo, Dianne Wiest, Brenda Vaccaro, Lionel Stander and Jerry Lewis (with Ricki Lake and Joy Behar) in a mob farce. There is a large evocation of family humor contrasted with the squeaking wheels of Federalism, plus a punkette giving the New Womanís Perspective. Characteristically, the dish has not fully set, but the style has a tinge of professionalism and the technique doesnít hamper anyone, with the result being not too far from the joviality of King of the Gypsies.
Discounted as amateur flair, the Home Alone/Dennis the Menace style of comedy, where itís not funny unless a stadium full of supers roars it in your ear or looks at you expectantly until you play imaginary ball, discounted, I say, as rubbish, here beyond any style is a perfectly fine and funny film adapted to a market not yet bludgeoned into submission. And so, as they say on American Masters, ďit would be a failure.Ē
It would be if it could, but it canít, so it wonít, uh, isnít. Even in an inhuman makeup, Roseanne is a skilled comedienne too professional to be held back by theatricals, and that goes for Meryl Streep, too. Ed Begley, Jr. deserves the leading position his thoroughly well-rounded second-string work has always shown him capable of. Sylvia Miles cuts through the crap. The able and distinguished A Martinez, who went down by L.A. Law and was recently released from General Hospital, dispatches his role to perfection. Only Linda Hunt, latterly of The Practiceís soup kitchen, allows herself to bear witness to the actual state of production, having little or nothing to do and plenty of screen time to ponder it.
Romance novelist pirates tract home marriage, gets comeuppance. Tell it to the girls who stare at Oprah like a goddess or, hey now, Dr. Phil.