Falling midway between a campy send-up of suburban wives soap operas and a legitimate thriller, Compromising Positions, from the 1978 novel by Susan Isaacs, emerges as a silly little whodunnit that’s a mild embarrassment to all involved.
Unlikely material, about the murder of a philandering Long Island dentist, the reactions of his many mistresses, and the official and unofficial investigations into it, has hardly been approached with a straight face. The victim is a loathesome gold chain type, and most of his conquests are ladies who lunch with little redeeming social or intellectual value.
Intrigued and naively amazed that nearly everyone she knows has been involved with the late Dr Fleckstein, upper-middle-class housewife Susan Sarandon undertakes some amateur sleuthing with an eye toward reviving her old profession of newspaper reporter.
Action moves along snappily enough. Supporting players such as Judith Ivey and Josh Mostel contribute some tolerably amusing comedy turns, and Sarandon is, as always, highly watchable.