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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

THEY ALL LAUGHED (1981)

Smartly conceived romantic-comedy never delivers on its promise. Peter Bogdanovich purposefully lets us figure out for ourselves why all these charming people are 'tailing' each other in the opening reel of the pic. But once we figure out who the dicks are (all men, get it?) and who the objects are (all women, get it?), we never develop much of a reason to care what happens. And without any plot to govern the events, the actors have little to do but tread water and hope for the best. Ben Gazarra offers his usual self-regard passing as style, but Audrey Hepburn and, most especially, John Ritter (a great film actor in spite of his career-wasting tv work) have the goods to carry us along for the ride. The rest of the cast is amateurish. But a real feel for NYC at the time is captured thanks to a restricted budget that meant a lot of "stolen’ location shooting with the great lensman Robbie Muller there to do the ‘stealing.’

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