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Paulie

PAULIE Jay Mohr, Buddy Hackett, Cheech Marin (1998, DreamWorks, PG, $22.99) Though it has a premise ready-made for heartstring tugging, this incredible journey of precocious parrot Paulie back to his first love, an angelic little girl with a stutter, takes so many turns that it easily shakes loose the sentiment. Paulie (voiced with cheek by Mohr) proves quite a rogue, especially after he hits the birdie burlesque circuit and then goes to work for a small-time grifter. And a cross-country sojourn with an arty RV resident (the luminous Gena Rowlands) makes an oddly affecting episode. Given director John Roberts’ flair for weaving together the disparate chapters of Paulie’s career, you almost wish he’d bagged the reunion and let the bird land his own late-night talk show. B

Paulie
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