Film Scouts Reviews

"Moonlight and Valentino"

by Eleanor Ringel

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Neil Simon got his nickname "Doc" because he was so often asked to "doctor," i.e., fix up, other people's scripts. So where was he when his own daughter needed him? Ellen Simon's play-turned-movie is a dreary "women's movie" about a newly-widowed Elizabeth Perkins and her varied emotional support system: Gwyneth Paltrow as her man-shy sister; Kathleen Turner as her awesomely capable ex-stepmother; and Whoopi Goldberg as her best pal, a potter with three kids and a husband she hasn't slept with in three months. These four are some of the most appealing and talented women working in movies, but Simon's script is a botch of half-clever quips and half-baked touchy-feely insights. The only time the movie comes out of its torpor is when rock star Jon Bon Jovi shows up as a hunky house painter. His many fans already know he's adorable-looking, but the guy can act too. This movie may end up remembered as the one that launched Bon Jovi's movie career.

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