Owen Gleiberman
May 03, 1991 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Object of Beauty

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
103 minutes
performer
Andie MacDowell, John Malkovich, Lolita Davidovich, Peter Riegert
director
Michael Lindsay-Hogg
distributor
LIVE Video
author
Michael Lindsay-Hogg
genre
Drama, Mystery and Thriller

We gave it a B

The Object of Beauty is a mild but charmingly off-kilter romantic comedy. Jake (John Malkovich) and Tina (Andie MacDowell) are floating bons vivants who travel from country to country, running up tabs in swanky hotels and keeping one step ahead of their creditors. The two are genuinely in love-yet the second their ”fortune” begins to unravel, so do their ties to one another. Writer-director Michael Lindsay-Hogg gently satirizes love in an era of buy-now-pay-later brinkmanship. The film moves at a casual tempo that’s often a little too lifelike, but the two stars establish a teasing intimacy. Malkovich makes Jake’s haughty belief in his own persuasive powers bizarrely attractive, and MacDowell finds a core of grace in Tina, whose life is a series of carefree addictions (she’s hooked on booze, Jake, and the good life). At times, these two spoiled-brat innocents suggest the embattled protagonists of Sid and Nancy, only with charge cards instead of heroin. B

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