(director/writer: Blake Edwards; cinematographer: Isadore Mankofsky; editor: Robert Permagent; music: Henry Mancini; cast: John Ritter (Zach), Vincent Gardenia (Barney), Alyson Reed (Alex), Joel Brooks (Jake), .Julianne Phillips (Molly), Chelsea Field (Amy), Peter Donat (Sparky), Don Gordon (Curt), Nina Foch (Alex’s Mother), Michael Kidd (Dr. Westford), Bo Foxworth (Greg, the stepson of Ritter’s); Runtime: 101; MPAA Rating:R; producer: Tony Adams; Sony/Media Home Entertainment; 1989)

Things might have worked better if Ritter’s character didn’t creep you out as such a snake-in-the-grass.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A pathetic and shallow comedy poorly written and directed by the overrated Blake Edwards (“The Pink Panther”/”Blind Date”). It catches our attention only with the sight gag of fluorescent condoms glowing in the dark for our hero. Otherwise the childish antics of the womanizer protagonist are bland and forgettable. The blocked middle-aged LA Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Zach (John Ritter) can’t stop drinking and womanizing, which ultimately gets him separated from his TV news anchor wife Alex (Alyson Reed). The witless film chronicles the many sexual escapades of Zach and his attempt at rehabilitation. The romances include him cavorting with a body builder, a hairdresser and another beauty who pours lighter fluid on his piano to set it afire.Vincent Gardenia plays the hero’s best friend and the sympathetic philosophical bartender, offering common sense advice; the veteran acress Nina Foch plays Ritter’s bitchy mother-in-law; Michael Kidd is the enabling shrink; and Peter Donat plays Ritter’s suicidal queer agent, who always has something acerbic to say. Things might have worked better if Ritter’s character didn’t creep you out as such a snake-in-the-grass. This is the kind of movie that can drive you to drink.