[box cover]

True Colors

John Cusack and James Spader star in this startlingly obvious political morality play about two wide-eyed law school friends who take different paths into the murky adult world of power and politics. While Spader's idealistic Tim Gerrity eschews the compromises of elected office for a crusading role in the Justice Department, Cusack's shifty Peter Burton set his sights on the legislature, worming his way onto the staff of a veteran senator and eyeing a seat in Congress. As tales like True Colors go, the idealist faces numerous setbacks as his unscrupulous friend rises to the top, taking advantage of all those who care about him. By the end, however, trusted Gerrity turns the tables on scheming Burton and yadda yadda yadda. Director Herbert Ross (Footloose, Steel Magnolias), whose résumé reads like a "What's What" of bland airplane fare, does nothing to shake up this tired narrative, and uninspired screenwriter Kevin Wade (Mr. Baseball, Junior) gives him little to work with. Some may find the subject matter of political graft and dubious campaign financing relevant in today's political climate, but it's overly simplistic. For what it's worth, Cusack starred in a much better (though still flawed) tale of idealism in conflict with the natural corruptions of civic duty, 1997's City Hall. Paramount's DVD release of True Colors presents a decent anamorphic transfer (1.85:1) and Dolby Digital 5.1 audio, which regrettably highlights Trevor Jones' awful score in full sonic glory. Trailer, keep-case.
—Gregory P. Dorr

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