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The 100




Masquerade
(1988/I)
Reviewed by Reed Hubbard
Rating: 6.5 Beans

ny movie starring Rob Lowe already has two strikes against it. Throw in a mousy heiress, a couple of homoerotic scenes and Dana "Exit to Eden" Delany, and you have "Masquerade," one of those late-80s post-bratpack vehicles that ranks with "Kansas" and "Betsy's Wedding" for sheer vapidity.

Lowe plays Tim Whalen, a penniless yacht captain who has been recruited by a rich sailing nut to prepare his boat for the upcoming racing season. Whalen, however, seems to spend most of his time in bed with his boss' wife, Brooke (Kim Cattrall). Whenever they're together, there's lots of flesh, lots of sweating, and lots of silly dialogue, like when Whalen presents her with a pair of postage-stamp-sized panties. "Do you want me to put these on?" she cattily asks. "I can't bite them off if you don't," he huskily retorts. Oooh, the erotic tension.

Enter Olivia Lawrence (Meg Tilly), an introverted millionairess who immediately falls for Whalen, much to the chagrin of her odious step father, Gateworth (played by perpetual bad guy John Glover). Olivia's childhood boyfriend, Police Officer Mike McGill (Doug Savant) still has a thing for her, but she spurns him, choosing to marry the indigent (but oh so cute) Whalen. People start dying but the cops don't care, except for the intrepid McGill, whom you half expect to say, "Something's amiss here!" Pretty soon Olivia is the target and the bad guys devise all sorts of complex, yet idiotic, ways to do her in (wrecking into a utility pole, blowing up a boat). No one bats an eye. This must be normal behavior in the Hamptons.

The lines in this movie are moronic. When Brooke fears she is losing Whalen to the super-rich Olivia, he comforts her by saying, "Money's only good for making a boat go faster." Which is more unbelievable - that a broke sailor would actually say this or that a woman would actually buy it when a broke sailor says this? In another scene, Brooke confronts Olivia in the ladies' room and, referring to Olivia's self defensive shooting of Gateworth, says "While your were plugging your stepfather, your boyfriend was plugging me." Bleah!

In one of many well-worn clichés, the rich wife buys the poor husband an expensive gift (a Ferrari in this case). Putting Rob Lowe in a Ferrari is like gold-plating a turd, but he speeds through Manhattan and the Hamptons trying to look very cool and leading-mannish. He comes off more like a suburban accountant on a late model Harley sporting a do rag and a pair of Killer Loops. He is an ersatz rebel at best, a silly nouveau riche yokel at worst.

A TBS and USA favorite, Masquerade is a decent alternative to late night infomercials for Carleton Sheets or the Body Blaster, but is only worth the price of a rental if you want to see Kim Cattrall's tits or Melrose Place's least known cast member prancing around in a pair of white skivvies. This movie gets an extra Bean for blowing up a darn beautiful sailboat.






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