This Can’t Be Love.” This can’t be for real.
Anyone initially pulled in by stars Katharine Hepburn and Anthony Quinn will be quickly turned off by the plot, dialogue and acting. It’s stuff like this that could give TV movies a bad name.
Hepburn plays — or is — Marion Bennett, a reclusive, free-thinking former actress who has always publicly decried marriage. She hires Grant Landis (Jason Bateman, looking and acting like a high-school student) as her chauffeur/assistant.
Marion and Grant are being pursued by Sarah Wells (Jami Gertz), who contrives her way into Marion’s home.
The cranky, anti-social Marion is inexplicably charmed by Sarah, who secretly arranges for Marion to run into former co-star and flame Michael Reymann (Quinn).
It turns out the dueling duo was married for five days; romance is rekindled (rather quickly and unconvincingly), thanks to Grant’s help.
But Marion finds out that Michael, who is broke, needs her cooperation to write about their brief marriage in his autobiography. (Sarah is his hard-headed — and hard-hearted — editor.)
The low point of Duane Poole’s script is Hepburn’s talking to a horse. (Given her character’s penchant for dredging up names from Hollywood’s past, it’s a wonder Mr. Ed isn’t mentioned.)
Nadir for Quinn has got to be when he vaults onto a table, waving a foil threateningly at his publisher, and falls and breaks his leg.
The only good thing one can say about Hepburn’s self-parodying performance as a cantankerous, multi-Oscar winning actress is that she is no worse than the script, co-star Quinn (in a blustery performance) or anything else in this movie.
Gertz has no charm and is unconvincing as a career-driven woman who suddenly gets ethical, and Anthony Harvey’s direction is all over the place; none of the principals act as it they are in the same movie.
In a telepic where the standards are low, Peter Matz’s score stands out as one of the worst aspects.