Owen Gleiberman
March 09, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

Coupe De Ville

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG-13
performer
Patrick Dempsey, Arye Gross, Daniel Stern
director
Joe Roth
genre
Comedy, Drama

We gave it a C-

Three brothers are engaged to drive their father’s vintage, sky-blue Cadillac from Detroit to Miami. At the start, all they can do is bicker. But by the end of the journey, they’ve learned something about each other, and they’re transformed into loving brothers-maybe for the first time in their lives.

The plot of Coupe de Ville is as simple and formulaic as that. Peek beneath the formula, and you’ll find more formula! Still, the movie seems to think it’s on to something earnest and true. The actors don’t stand much of a chance, although Patrick Dempsey, who has always struck me as an obnoxious little punk, shows flashes of comic talent (maybe because he’s playing an obnoxious little punk). Daniel Stern, on the other hand, is trying so hard to turn the role of the embattled older brother into something heart-wrenching that he ends up making the guy seem psychotic. C-

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