Sony // 1984 // 118 Minutes // Rated PG-13
Reviewed by Judge Patrick Naugle // November 13th, 2003
TV news reporter Rob Salinger (Dudley Moore) lives a high-pressure life, yet still would love to have a child. His wife, a career-minded Micki (Ann Reinking), has no interest in having a baby -- she's too wrapped up in her desires at becoming a judge to contemplate motherhood. And so Rob takes matters into his own hands -- he decides that because he's unfulfilled he'll have an affair with Maude (Amy Irving), an attractive cellist who catches his eye. Because of his work schedule Rob is able to see Maude during the day and Micki at night -- both women unaware of what is going on (Maude thinks he's divorced his wife, while Micki thinks everything is fine). Things become even more complicated when Rob decides that he is in love with both women, marrying Maude and becoming a grade-A bigamist. Though Rob is quickly worn out from the mounds of lying and cheating it takes to keep each wife happy, things continue on like clockwork...that is, until both women end up pregnant with Rob's baby! Now Rob's only option is to put his deceitful ways into overdrive as he tries to keep both women blissfully ignorant on the bumpy road to fatherhood.
Before I sat down to watch Micki & Maude, I realized that I couldn't remember a single solitary movie I'd seen starring Dudley Moore. Pity, since I ended up being so fond of this Blake Edwards laughfest. I don't know if the moons were lined up correctly or maybe there was marijuana smoke in the air -- whatever the reason, I laughed heartily at this little comedy that could. The story, a fairly simple one that involves Moore running around leading a double life, seems only to exist so we can watch Moore's character fumble about like a flailing fish gasping for air. The poor guy never gets a rest as he runs from woman to woman, trying to be all things to all wives. Moore is able to do something surprising -- make us actually care about a lying, cheating bigamist. No small feat considering he doesn't have an honest bone in his body. Amy Irving (Carrie) and Ann Reinking (in her to-date final film role) make great foils for Moore as his pregnant wives. Irving especially is a hoot, turning in a performance that is both touching and funny (and oh, that luscious hair...). Also giving fine support is Blake Edwards regular Richard Mulligan (TV's Empty Nest) as Moore's best friend/co-worker, proving that the late actor had a special comedic touch. By the last half of the movie I was delighted at watching Moore's attempts at keeping sanity as both Micki and Maude descended into labor at the same hospital in adjoining rooms. And really, could there have been any other way to wrap up a movie of this nature? Of course, it goes without saying that eventually the wives will learn about their husbands' philandering -- it's what Edwards does with this climax (the screenplay by Jonathan Reynolds, who also penned Leonard Part 6) that's the real treat. Although Moore sadly succumbed to complications from supernuclear palsy in 2000 and Edwards hasn't directed a film in well over a decade (his last being the abysmal Son of the Pink Panther), fans can still revisit small gems like Micki & Maude with any of their wives or husbands. Recommended.
Micki & Maude is presented in 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen. Not surprisingly, this isn't the greatest looking transfer in the history of DVD. There are some inconstancies, including a few areas where grain and dirt are present, as well as a small amount of edge enhancement. However, what problems are present are tempered by the fact that the image appears to boast solid black levels and strong colors. Hey, it's a comedy from 1984...be thankful it looks this good. The soundtrack is presented in what appears to be Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (no mention is made on the package). On par with the video transfer, this sound mix is adequate if not exceptional -- the dialogue, music, and sound effects are all clear of any major distortion or hiss. There aren't any true surround sounds to be found here, though none are needed. Also included on this disc are English and French subtitles.
Micki & Maude is one of Columbia TriStar's catalog titles -- this means you aren't getting squat in the way of extra features. All that's been included on this disc are a few measly trailers for various Columbia comedies.
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Scales of Justice
* 2.40:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (English)
Running Time: 118 Minutes
Release Year: 1984
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13
* Theatrical Trailers