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In the Spirit Movie Review

jeannie berlin dukakis olympia

In the Spirit's inept promotion campaign must have killed it at the boxoffice. It probably didn't help that Peter Falk, who is terrific in the first half of the film, vanishes mysteriously and never comes back. He is so good that you wish he would return for a line or two at film's end, but no! Jeannie Berlin, playing the world's most boring hooker, wrote an often-hilarious script for her mother, Elaine May, and Marlo Thomas, who work surprisingly well together under Sandra Seacat's brisk direction. May only needs to raise an eyebrow or lower her voice to get a laugh, thus supplying the perfect counterpoint for Thomas’ kinetic energy. Melanie Griffith and Olympia Dukakis have cameo roles in this nicely paced crime caper, which does a delicious job of satirizing Had-I-But-Known mysteries and phony New Ageism.

1990 (R) 94m/C Elaine May, Marlo Thomas, Jeannie Berlin, Peter Falk, Melanie Griffith, Olympia Dukakis, Chad Burton, Thurn Hoffman, Michael Emil, Christopher Durang, Laurie Jones; D: Sandra Seacat; W: Jeannie Berlin, Laurie Jones; C: Dick Quinlan; M: Patrick Williams. VHS

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