Cinema: Rushes: Sep. 3, 1990


Talk about off-casting: brittle-romantic Nora Ephron (Heartburn, When Harry Met Sally ) writing a high-concept comedy about a Mafioso's troubles when the Federal Witness Security Program plunks him down in white-bread suburbia; humorless Herbert Ross (Steel Magnolias) directing it; Steve Martin (who needs no parenthetical citation) playing the gangster. Talk about miscalculation. One's natural curiosity to see if they can possibly get out of alien country alive must be resisted. Ephron imposes a few feeble gags on material she has evidently skimmed a few books about; Ross still doesn't know how to stage or shoot comedy; Martin does...

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