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The 100




For Richer or Poorer
(1997)
Reviewed by Scott Murdock
Rating: 9.5 Beans

ou think it would be boring to be Amish? Try watching Tim Allen try to be Amish for 115 minutes and you'll be begging to convert just to have an excuse to miss this movie.

In all actuality, I supposse, Mr. Allen doesn't try to be Amish for an entire 115 minutes. The open credits drag on for a good 3 or 4 minutes (it seems more like 114 minutes) and a good 20 to 30 minutes is wasted before anything begins to happen at all. Then we have about 15 minutes of Tim Allen running from the law (which I'm sure brought back some memories) before we see any Amish people. In fact, by the time anything actually happens in this movie, you could almost complete a viewing of "Bean".

Tim Allen (TV's "Home Improvement", Minnesota's "Federal Prison") plays Brad Sexton, a well-to-do commercial real estate developer who is in the midst of marital turmoil with his wife of ten years, Caroline Sexton (the wonderful Kirstie Alley, TV's "Cheers", 1982's "Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan"). As if this weren't stress enough, along comes bumbling accountant Bob Lachman (Wayne Knight, 1993's "Jurassic Park", TV's "Seinfeld") who gets into $5,000,000 of trouble with the IRS after years of embezzlement of the Sexton funds. Unfortunately it is the Sexton name on the returns, so Bobby skips town and leaves the Sextons to be pursued by a fashionably stereotypical insanely-ruthless IRS agent and his sidekick. Naturally the Sextons flee the law rather than contact their attorney. (After all, a second arrest would not look good after that drug conviction.)

With the assistance of some ridiculously cliche anti-IRS sentiment, the Sextons managed to elude the federal authories and find themselves instead trapped in the middle of Intercourse when they crash their getway car. By Intercourse I mean, of course, the popular Amish resort town of Intercourse, Pennsylvania. Realizing they will have to lie low while trying to contact their lawyer, they do what anyone else would do in such a situation... steal some clothes and pretend to be Amish.

It is at this point that the movie switches gears from being completely boring to being completely boring with the addition of weak attempts at sould searching and sad attempts at jokes. Alas, everything falls flat. The movie's most comical element are the words "minute lice", the movie's most dramatic moment is a few seconds while the town elders confer on whether the people should be allowed to wear pastels and earth tones. I could have gotten more entertainment at the Wednesday night prayer meeting at the Sunshine Home. I could have found more soul-searching and inner enlightenment at a Hyapatia Lee flick.

The only things that saves this movie from a complete 10-bean rating is that Kirstie Alley did the best she could with a really, really crappy script. But Kirstie, why did you do it?

I highly recommend viewing this movie only under the influence of cocaine. Another option would be to arrive 114 minutes into the film. They show what I at first thought was outtakes during the closing credits, but these "outtakes" cannot be distinguished from senes in the actual film. I then realized that the movie we has just seen was the director's cut of "For Richer or Poorer", while what I had misinterpretend as outtakes was actually the cut of the movie returned by the editing crew. So, by watching only the closing credits, you can get the gist of the movie with only a minute or two wasted as compared to nearly 2 hours. You'll get the same bang for your $6.50... none.


Other reviews for this movie:

Chris Bjuland
Ken M. Wilson




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