Office Christmas Party
Another reminder that allowing your cast to madly improvise instead of actually providing a coherent script with a scintilla of inherent logic often leads to…
Kirstie Alley and Tim Allen are warm and appealing, and good with the zingers after years of practice on sitcoms. Watching them work in "For Richer or Poorer,'' I admired their sheer professionalism. The plot is a yawner, another one of those "fish out of water'' formula jobs, complete with car chases and jokes about cow manure. But they succeed somehow in bringing a certain charm to their scenes, and they never miss with a laugh line.
Allen plays a Trumpian real estate magnate (how I love the word "magnate'') who is celebrating his 10th wedding anniversary by unveiling his latest scheme for a theme park: "Holyland--inspired by God himself.'' Alley, his wife, works the crowd for investors but is fed up with the marriage and wants out. Before they get a chance to file for divorce, however, they find themselves in deep doo-doo with the IRS; Allen's accountant has stolen $5 million and made it look like tax fraud.
These developments naturally make a car chase necessary, and after Alley coincidentally jumps into the back of the Yellow Cab that Allen has stolen, they head for the back roads and end up in Intercourse, Pa. (joke), the center of an Amish community. They need to hide out somewhere, and Allen has studied the movie "Witness,'' so they pass themselves off as long-lost Amish cousins from Missouri and move in with a farm family headed by Jay O. Sanders.
What happens during their stay on the farm can be imagined, in broad outline, by anyone who cares to give it a moment's thought, or perhaps less. The city slickers are put to work on farm chores ("Look, honey--it's 4:45 a.m.! We must have overslept!''). Allen is assigned to train a gigantic horse, and Alley tries to fake needlepoint lessons. All routine.