Tuesday, May 19, 2009

For Love or Money (1993) [PG] **

Doug Ireland (Michael J. Fox) is a New York City hotel concierge with a dream. He wants to turn an old Roosevelt Island building he's found into a hotel. He's optioned the property, written a business plan and pitched the idea to wealthy real-estate developer Christian Hanover (Anthony Higgins). When Doug learns that Hanover is going to fund his project, he's excited. But when he learns that Hanover's mistress is Andy Hart (Gabrielle Anwar), the lovely, young salesgirl he's been ardently pursuing, Doug bitterly reminds himself: Don't want what you can't have.

This is supposed to be a romantic comedy, but there isn't much romance, probably because Fox has never been a strong romantic lead. He's typically depicted as assertive and hyperactive, and usually paired with sweet, innocent actresses such as Lea Thompson in Back to the Future and Tracy Pollan in the Family Ties TV series. Casting Gabrielle Anwar in For Love or Money was consistent with this pattern. Twenty-two when the film was shot, she's more teenage ingénue than femme fatale. Despite wearing tightly-fitting outfits to make her look sexy and mature, Anwar still looks more like Higgins' daughter than his mistress. Viewers who expect a Fox-Anwar romance will be disappointed. There's almost no chemistry between the two, and the screenplay barely develops their relationship. As a result this film will be mainly enjoyed by fans of Fox and those who like Anwar's earlier work.

Labels: comedy, romance
Internet Movie Database
Tomatometer (critics=32, viewers=46)