This conventional spin on the old slob-meets-WASP-loses-WASP-then-marries-WASP story is too cute by half, as thesps poke strained fun at themselves rather than merely act. Despite valiant efforts by a game Kevin Pollak to liven up this tired romantic comedy, only the patient should appreciate the gross humor and sophomoric plot. Long on the Miramax shelf, this one is headed straight to video.

This conventional spin on the old slob-meets-WASP-loses-WASP-then-marries-WASP story is too cute by half, as thesps poke strained fun at themselves rather than merely act. Despite valiant efforts by a game Kevin Pollak to liven up this tired romantic comedy, only the patient should appreciate the gross humor and sophomoric plot. Long on the Miramax shelf, this one is headed straight to video.

Story has libidinous David (Arye Gross) infatuated with WASP queen Carrie (Courteney Cox), whom he meets in a bar.

Despite much hesitation, the two proceed with a tumultuous — and unfunny — relationship, which is busily commented on by their respective best friends as the road to marriage looms; the satyric Eli (Pollak) and zany Zoe (Julie Brown) do their bit to make viewers forget that the laughs aren’t coming.

One fatal gimmick involves thesps staring into the camera and letting the audience in on the joke.

Unfortunately, punchlines here involve mostly condoms, genitalia and references to basic functions.

Several dream sequences, including one in which Carrie is almost gagged to death on David’s mother’s food, are fun but overdone.

Carrie’s primness and David’s locker room charm create several other unsuccessful country club vs. matzoh ball gags that leave the cast adrift in a sea of loose direction.

Even taking into account the $ 3 million budget, pic looks and feels like a hurried 1970s buddy comedy replete with “I just can’t figure him/her out” lines.

Interspersed animation spots want to be playful, but end up being annoying.

Tech credits are okay, but title sequence is also too eager to please.

The Opposite Sex and How to Live with Them

Production

A Miramax Films presentation of a Once Upon a Time/Outlaw production. Produced by Robert Newmyer, Stanley M. Brooks. Executive producer, Jeffrey Silver. Directed by Matthew Meshekoff. Screenplay, Noah Stern.

Crew

Camera (Deluxe color), Jacek Laskus; editor, Adam Weiss; music, Ira Newborn; production design, Alex Tavoularis; costume design, Carol Ramsey; sound (Dolby Stereo), Glenn T. Morgan, Wylie Stateman; co-producer, David Guggenheim; casting, Richard Pagano, Sharon Bialy, Debbie Manwiller. Reviewed at Loews 34th Street Showplace, N.Y., March 26, 1993. MPAA Rating: R. Running time: 86 min.

With

David Crown - Arye Gross
Carrie Davenport - Courteney Cox
Eli - Kevin Pollak
Zoe - Julie Brown
Kenneth Davenport - Mitch Ryan
Frieda Crown - Mitzi McCall
Irv Crown - Phil Bruns
Gisella Davenport - B.J. Ward
Rabbi - Jack Carter

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