The stars of WEEKEND IN THE COUNTRY can be thankful that this dismal romantic comedy went straight to commercial cable and then was banished to the bottom shelves of most video stores after a very limited release.
Artificially inseminated Sally (Rita Rudner) flies from New York to California and poses as a magazine interviewer to meet wine magnate Simon Farrell (Dudley Moore), the father of her unborn baby. Though Sally is seven months pregnant, Simon, not knowing he's the father, seduces Sally, then dumps
her. She commiserates with Ruth (Christine Lahti), an eccentric bed-and-breakfast owner, who gives her the lowdown on Simon's sleazy history.
Comedian Bobby Stein (Richard Lewis) is another New Yorker staying at Ruth's bed-and-breakfast. Ostensibly in wine country to perform, Bobby arrives to continue his affair with the married Susan (Faith Ford). Although they don't know the first thing about grapes, Susan and her new husband Michael
(John Shea) recently bought a winery. Unfortunately for Bobby, Susan falls back in love with her husband once more and ends the extramarital romance. Bobby is left to deal with Bud Bailey (Jack Lemmon), a failed comedian who ineptly promotes Bobby's show.
Bobby and Sally, both depressed, bond at the local fair. The next night, during Bobby's act, Sally goes into labor and Bobby leaves the stage to accompany her to the hospital. Bud assumes the empty stage and resurrects his stand-up career.
Also in the hospital is heart attack victim Simon Farrell. The medical scare teaches Simon to be less self-absorbed and appreciate his daughter Arista (Jennifer Cox) and her new Australian boyfriend Rupert (Ernie Dingo). At the same time, love blooms in the delivery room where Sally gives birth
and Bobby plays surrogate father. They drive back to New York with a new baby girl.
After their very modest success with PETER'S FRIENDS (1992), the conjugal writing team of Rita Rudner and Martin Bergman inflict this unfunny mess on the public. They attempt to juggle too many story lines, eventually dropping them all. Ultimately, one hardly cares about Bobby and Sally's romance,
let alone the even flimsier relationships of Susan and Michael, Arista and Rupert, et al.--an endless list of couples without a single spark among them. Get past its middlebrow tone and this film is nothing more than a landlocked "Love Boat" episode (a collection of second-rate and has-been actors
playing cardboard types who all find love in the end).
It's a shame to see an actress of Christine Lahti's caliber playing a modern comedy cliche, the "New Age" flake. The flatly drawn, unappealing characters bring out the worst in each of the actors. Jack Lemmon's tendency to overact becomes painfully clear in his portrayal of the grating, phony Bud.
(Could this be the same man who displayed such brilliant comic timing in THE APARTMENT and THE ODD COUPLE?) Richard Lewis comes off almost as poorly as Lemmon. Director Bergman fails to utilize Lewis's greatest asset--his boundless neurotic energy. In any event, the actors should have known that
when Dudley Moore is cast in a movie, one should run--not walk--in the opposite direction. (Sexual situations, profanity.)
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- Released: 1996
- Rating: R
- Review: The stars of WEEKEND IN THE COUNTRY can be thankful that this dismal romantic comedy went straight to commercial cable and then was banished to the bottom shelves of most video stores after a very limited release. Artificially inseminated Sally (Rita Rudn… (more)
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