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Seems Like Old Times

One of the great crimes in the history of cinema is that Goldie Hawn and Chevy Chase only made two films together. In both 1978's comic thriller Foul Play and this light, otherwise unremarkable Neil Simon romp, the goofy fireworks that ignite between Hawn's ditsy sincerity and Chase's stone-faced mockery hint at what could've been one of the greatest romantic comedy teams ever, if only they had been more prolific together. Chase stars as Nick Gardenia, a hapless writer kidnapped by bank robbers and used as a patsy. On the run from a statewide manhunt, he seeks refuge in the arms of his ex-wife, Glenda (Hawn), who is not only a philanthropic defense lawyer with a weakness for helpless stray humans and dogs, but who is also, coincidentally, married to the Carmel District Attorney on the fast track to California state Attorney General (Charles Grodin). This is the kind of high-concept farce that workhorse Simon churns out in his sleep, and every clever bit is matched by a dud. But Chase, at his peak, rescues the material with his casual disregard for Simon's obvious punchlines. Hawn, who has rarely looked lovelier, is no comic slouch either, and the chemistry between the two is unmistakable. Also outstanding is Grodin, whose exasperated contempt makes the perfect foil for Chase's unflappable cool. Director Jay Sandrich, whose career has seen him helm over 40 TV sitcoms, displays a light if prosaic touch in his only feature film. Also with Robert Guillaume and the unfortunate T.K. Carter (whose career as ridiculous racial stereotype was cut short by the changing times) as a jive-talking chauffeur. Columbia TriStar presents Seems Like Old Times in both anamorphic (1.85:1) and full-frame transfers with monaural Dolby Digital 2.0 audio. It appears the source print was not perfectly preserved, but the only noticeable wear occurs mostly during the opening credits. Trailer, keep-case. —Gregory P. Dorr

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