Mill Creek Entertainment // 1991 // 115 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge Roy Hrab (Retired) // August 10th, 2011
About to marry the perfect girl, suddenly he meets the girl of his dreams...
"You know what the odds are on that? Impossible to one."
It's the late 1940s and Charley Pearl (Alec Baldwin, The Edge) is a lazy playboy, heir to a toothpaste empire. Deciding to settle down, he's chosen Adele Horner (Elizabeth Shue, Hollow Man), daughter of Hollywood mogul Lew Horner (Robert Loggia, Lost Highway), as his bride. During his bachelor party, Charley happens to catch sight of sultry lounge singer Vicki Anderson (Kim Basinger, Cellular) and is immediately smitten. However, Vicki belongs to gangster Bugsy Siegel (Armand Assante, The Mambo Kings). And then there's the small detail of that upcoming wedding. Suddenly, Charley's life is turned upside-down, inside-out, and sideways, over and over and over again.
The Marrying Man has a single claim to fame. This infamy has nothing to with script, production values, acting, or direction. Nope, none of those things. So what is it? This is the movie where Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger met and fell in love. It was alleged, at the time, the pair got so hot and heavy during filming, the relationship caused disruptions and delays in filming.
If true, it helps (partly) explain why The Marrying Man, written by Neil Simon (Murder by Death), does not work. But there's still plenty of blame for Simon's uninspired script. It has aspirations of being a throwback screwball comedy, but the story is too silly and annoyingly repetitive (how many times can they break-up and get back together?), short-circuiting many of the so-called jokes and gags. Ineffective montages and Paul Reiser's (Mad About You) annoying narration further prevents the film from gaining any traction.
The Marrying Man has more problems than just comedy, as its dramatic scenes fall flat too. Credit this failure to the extremely limited range of Baldwin and Basinger. Sure, they were early in their careers, but bad is bad. Both seem to equate raising the volume of their voice with expressing emotion. The combination of bad acting and weak story results in two characters so superficial and shallow it's impossible for us to relate to either one of them.
Plus, the rest of the cast is underused. Assante appears only briefly as Siegel, Loggia barks all of his lines, and Shue is wasted on a one-note character.
Oh yeah...and Basinger can't sing.
The Marrying Man is presented with a 1080p, 1.78:1 transfer. Adequate but far from great, colors are clear and bright, detail is passable with patches of softness, and there's a fair amount of grain, scratches, and other imperfections. The 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio is stronger than the picture, with sound that is balanced and clear. It's a simple soundtrack to be sure, but all the music and dialogue come through without a problem.
There are no extras.
The Marrying Man is an unremarkable film with no special features, which begs the question: Why release it on Blu-ray at all? You got me. Maybe it was intended to show that Alec Baldwin circa 1991 resembles brother Billy more closely than Alec circa 2011.
That's all I can come up with.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Mill Creek Entertainment
* 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)
* DTS HD 2.0 Master Audio (English)
Running Time: 115 Minutes
Release Year: 1991
MPAA Rating: Rated R