Solitaire For Two

Would you green-light this unpromising script pitch? An assertiveness-training professor with a minor in body language falls for a psychic paleontologist who responds to men's impure thoughts with compulsive violence. Sabotaging its minimal screwball potential with two exceedingly charmless leads, SOLITAIRE FOR TWO makes DUMB AND DUMBER and TOMMY BOY seem...read more

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Would you green-light this unpromising script pitch? An assertiveness-training professor with a minor in body language falls for a psychic paleontologist who responds to men's impure thoughts with compulsive violence. Sabotaging its minimal screwball potential with two exceedingly

charmless leads, SOLITAIRE FOR TWO makes DUMB AND DUMBER and TOMMY BOY seem like triumphs of gossamer sophistication.

Philandering Non-Verbal Communications professor Daniel Becker (Mark Frankel) finds lasting love when he meets no-nonsense paleontologist Katie Burrill (Amanda Pays), who responds with a roundhouse punch. Dedicated to fossil research and hoping to finalize a dream project in India, spinster Katie

is able to psychically read men's thoughts--or at least the lewd ones. During her first date with smitten Daniel, mindreader Katie KOs the waiter for nursing sexual desires about her. Daniel's unrelenting passion initially drives Katie deeper into prehistoric prehistoric studies with her associate

Sandip Tamar (Roshan Seth), whom she believes to be asexual. Sending out mixed signals to each other, the couple argue heatedly and often. On the eve of her departure for India, Katie causes friction between Daniel and his married friends with her unsolicited psychic pronouncements. But when she

realizes that Tamar also also has sexual designs on her, Katie shelves her dream project and opts for married life with Daniel, who's sworn off playing the field forever.

SOLITAIRE FOR TWO is one of those creaky romantic fabrications full of pathetic running gags (Katie's pugilistic responses) and few payoffs (Daniel's mildest-mannered pupil takes his assertiveness training so well that he pulls a pistol on his nasty boss). These slight synthetic comic bits mesh

perfectly with a story line so billowy it seems to have been written on thistles.

Not only does the film's direction have all the pull of an infomercial, but the tacky dialogue appears to have been penned by "Dating Game" staffers trying to recycle double entendres into a full-length screenplay. There's something especially disheartening about a smutty romantic comedy; it's as

if one awakens after a one-night stand to find one's bedmate and one's wallet gone. Violated by this dysfunctional bedroom farce, the audience finds nothing humorous in this valentine to violence. (Extreme profanity, nudity, sexual situations, violence.)

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