March 01, 1991 at 05:00 AM EST

Lies Before Kisses

TV Show
Current Status
In Season
Ben Gazzara, Jaclyn Smith
We gave it a C-

Ben Gazzara (QB VII) and Jaclyn Smith (Kaleidoscope) are a happily married couple until the day Smith receives a photo. It’s a picture of a young woman in a bikini, along with a note informing Smith that this person is having an affair with Gazzara. Smith asks Nick Mancuso (Stingray) to find out whether this allegation is true. (Mancuso calls himself an “investigative journalist,” but he operates here as your average melodrama’s private detective.)

Nothing is what it seems in Lies Before Kisses, whose characters spend two hours double- and triple-crossing each other; this TV movie’s persistent trickery eventually becomes tiresome and even predictable. Kisses is also overloaded with fulsome dialogue. (“Don’t take anything away from what we had this weekend; it’s been too special,” Mancuso murmurs to Smith when the two — oops! don’t want to give anything away.)

Gazzara is a good actor who has been given nothing to do other than look hurt; but Smith, normally a chilly, humorless performer, is terrific — lively, sexy, even rather funny at certain appropriate moments. Still, she’s not enough to make Lies Before Kisses worth watching. C-

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