In Memoriam 1942 – 2013 “Roger Ebert loved movies.”

RogerEbert.com

Thumb_feher_isten_ver2

White God

Imagine an "R" rated "Lassie" by way of "Spartacus." That's Kornél Mundruczó's "White God," a brutal but stirring fantasy about street dogs rising up against…

Thumb_1xhk6o9re7godwsywy9dokwtkjx

Get Hard

In this exuberant but ultimately simpleminded comedy, a car wash owner (Kevin Hart) helps a wimpy hedge fund manager (Will Ferrell) get ready for prison…

Other Reviews
Review Archives
Thumb_xbepftvyieurxopaxyzgtgtkwgw

Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

Thumb_jrluxpegcv11ostmz1fqha1bkxq

Monsieur Hire

Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

Other Reviews
Great Movie Archives
Other Articles
Channel Archives

Reviews

For Love Or Money

  |  

"For Love or Money" stars Michael J. Fox, one of the most likable stars in the movies, in a romantic comedy so lightweight that his charm has to carry the whole enterprise. Take away the basic human appeal of Fox and his love interest, Gabrielle Anwar, and what you have left wouldn't fuel 22 minutes of a sitcom.

The set-up makes it perfectly clear exactly what must happen in "For Love and Money," but the movie struggles manfully ahead, pretending it doesn't know. The story involves Fox as a New York hotel concierge, who falls in love with a millionaire's sweet and innocent mistress. Can you guess who gets the girl? Some effort is made to flesh out this idea, which must have been ancient in Chaplin's time, by adding backstage details about the operation of the hotel. But even here no effort is made to be original or observant. We see some corridors, we meet the snotty manager and the ancient bellman, and we learn that conciergi trade theater tickets with each other in Central Park. But the movie isn't about hotel, it's about ancient plot devices. Fox plays Doug Ireland, concierge at a hotel where every customer needs special handling. One of them is Christian Hanover (Anthony Higgins), a supercilious rich man who is shamelessly taking advantage of the naive but beautiful Andy Hart (Gabrielle Anwar). Doug's heart goes pitty-pat the moment he sees Andy, but he cannot act on his impulses because Hanover is a big tipper.

Plus, of course, Doug has a dream. He wants to build a hotel on an island off Manhattan, and he's purchased an option to the rights. Now he needs a backer, and Hanover plays him along. Doug knows Andy likes him, and he knows how shamelessly the married millionaire is deceiving her. But if Doug wins his love, he loses his hotel.

And that's about it. The movie is a throwback to a kinder, gentler time; this could have been a Sandra Dee comedy in the 1950s.

Nothing in it is very witty, or very new, or very smart. Gabrielle Anwar makes an appealing presence (you may remember her from "Scent Of A Woman"), and there is a half-hearted attempt to work up some slapstick in a scene at the millionaire's summer home.

But "For Love or Money" is essentially the kind of movie where you walk in, sit down, and start thinking this is where you came in.

Popular Blog Posts

“The Breakfast Club”, 30 Years Later: A Conversation Across Generations

A film teacher looks back on "The Breakfast Club," partly through the eyes of her students.

The Melodrama Of Woody Allen’s Critical Reputation

The conversation about Woody Allen's personal and professional lives intertwining continues, but to what end?

Now, "Voyager": in praise of the Trekkiest "Trek" of all

As we mourn Abrams’ macho Star Trek obliteration, it’s a good time to revisit that most Star Trek-ian of accomplishme...

Memories of Roger: My Photo Journal from the Last Two Years

A gallery of photos, videos and links illustrating Chaz's journey relating to Roger's legacy in the two years since h...

Reveal Comments
comments powered by Disqus