THE OBJECT OF BEAUTY is not a joy forever. To watch Andie MacDowell and John Malkovich flounder in roles that might once have gone to Cary Grant and Irene Dunne or William Powell and Myrna Loy is to experience moviegoing misery.
For Jake (Malkovich) and Tina (MacDowell), two expatriate Americans in a luxury London hotel, life is one long, languorous round of room service and lovemaking. When rich boy Jake's latest business scheme flounders, the temporarily strapped duo toys with the idea of an insurance scam. Could they
pretend that Tina's Henry Moore sculpture has been stolen from their rooms? Before they can act, though, a deaf and dumb maid, Jenny (Davies), pilfers the statue because she's mesmerized by its beauty, not by its market value.
Jake and Tina suspect each other and their relationship deteriorates. When Jenny's brother Steve (Harnett) steals the sculpture but can't find anyone to fence it, he disposes of his sister's treasure in a garbage dump. Steve's theft infuriates Jenny and then incites the greed of Frankie (Pack), a
thuggish fence who has learned that the insurance company is offering a hefty reward for the sculpture's recovery. Convinced that Tina has double-crossed him, Jake sleeps with her best friend Joan (Davidovich) and searches Joan's flat. Although Jenny returns the sculpture after retrieving it from
the trash heap, she must re-steal it in order to protect her brother from the unscrupulous Frankie. Insurance company to the rescue.
Watching this thinly written, intellectualized caper film, one realizes how far downhill we've come since Ernst Lubitsch's TROUBLE IN PARADISE or even Jules Dassin's TOPKAPI. If OBJECT OF BEAUTY were to have worked as a comedy of manners, it would have needed a director with some champagne in his
bloodstream and a cast with some insouciance in their bones. As it is, it's impossible to care whether the sculpture ends up in the trash, with the maid, or with Jake and Tina, because none of them deserve it. Empty cynicism reigns supreme throughout this serio-comedy in which self-serving
characters play hot potato with a work of art.
Cast & Details See all »
- Released: 1991
- Rating: R
- Review: THE OBJECT OF BEAUTY is not a joy forever. To watch Andie MacDowell and John Malkovich flounder in roles that might once have gone to Cary Grant and Irene Dunne or William Powell and Myrna Loy is to experience moviegoing misery. For Jake (Malkovich) and T… (more)