Goldie Hawn’s insistence on Saying Something Important takes a lot of the zip out of Protocol, but the light comedy still has its moments for the forgiving.
One big problem here is an oh-so-obvious effort to reinvent the formula that boosted Private Benjamin to the heights. Here she’s a sweet, unsophisticated cocktail waitress hurdled into the unfamiliar world of Washington diplomacy and Mideast travail.
In Benjamin, Hawn’s main adversary was a woman captain (Eileen Brennan) and ill-intentioned men; here, it’s Gail Strickland as a devious, plotting protocol officer and more ill-intentioned men.
Formula doesn’t work as well in Protocol, partly because Strickland and gang aren’t as much fun to foil as Brennan’s bunch was.