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Tucson Weekly Film Clips

SEPTEMBER 28, 1998: 

BILLY'S HOLLYWOOD SCREEN KISS. This is gay romantic comedy as whipped non-dairy topping: light, sweet and cloying. Tommy O'Haver wrote and directed this trifle about a struggling photographer who falls for an empty-headed pretty boy who likes to drink beer. The twist is that the pretty might be straight...or is he? Billy (the charming Sean P. Hayes) is darned sure going to find out! This is clearly not the stuff of high drama, and it seems like Screen Kiss goes out of its way to have absolutely no substantive content. There certainly are some funny scenes though, and near the end of the film the script tends to loosen up and dares to take a few digs. Unfortunately, they come too late. This is one of those movies that tells us that whether gay or straight, on some level we're all the same. It's sort if like a very long episode of Ellen, but full of men. --Richter

ONE TRUE THING. Poor Rene Zewiggler--she perpetually looks like she's about to cry. At least that probably made her a shoo-in for this weepie about how a family handles their dying mother/wife (Meryl Streep). Daughter Ellen (Zewiggler) has a crush on her father (William Hurt and runaway goatee), and is therefore successfully manipulated into postponing her promising writing career to play caretaker. In the process she discovers how devalued her mom has been as a homemaker and that her dad would not be a fun date. While it's nice to see a film that focuses on a mother-daughter relationship, it seems a bit cruel to show the underdeveloped characters wading through the contrived scenes with the assistance of alcohol without offering any to the audience. Most recent Hollywood films about women over 40 are just plain boring, though in this case it probably has a lot to do with the insane amount of Bette Midler music on the soundtrack. For you Beverly Hills, 90210 fans out there, you'll be glad to see that Mr. Walsh (James Eckhouse) has expanded his range to include a supporting role as a lawyer.--Higgins

RUSH HOUR. Although this is the first Jackie Chan movie to score big at the box office in its opening weekend in America, it's probably his worst film. Other than the five jokes that have been spread out over the 90 minutes of this films length, all the dialogue is incredibly painful. When asked why he's so gung-ho about capturing the villain, Chan is even forced to utter the line, "He killed my partner." There's a couple of good acrobatics/martial arts sequences, but not enough to make this worth sitting through. On the other hand, if you think you'd like to watch Chris Tucker do an exaggerated impression of an Asian while Jackie Chan tries to get "funky" and "down" to some soul music, then this film's for you. --DiGiovanna

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