Movie Magazine International

Out to Sea

USA - 1997

Movie Review By Pete Dunn

What an odd couple! Oscar Madison is a beer-guzzling, cigar-smoking sportswriter and an utter slob. Felix Unger is an obsessive-compulsive neat-freak free-lance photographer. Both men are divorced, and were asked by their wives to...never...return... Oops...ummm..sorry... Max and John are two retired ice-fishermen who live In Minnesota. Oh, and they don't have accents like those people in Fargo. An attractive woman, played by Ann Margaret... Wait a minute... Umm...sorry, folks, ummm... Wrong review. Uh, hold on a minute, please...ahh!

Charlie and Herb are widowed brothers-in-law Charlie wants to meet the woman of his dreams -- i.e., rich, gorgeous, rich, stylish, wealthy, oh, and rich. Herb needs a vacation to break out of his life's doldrums -- a life which was saddened by the passing of his wife. Charlie gets them both tickets on a cruise ship, but unbeknownst to Herb, the tickets come with a catch. The catch is, they have to work -- as dance hosts aboard the cruise ship.

During the next 90 minutes audiences are treated to some wonderful ballroom-style dancing and music. The dance scenes are wonderfully choreographed and while having a 1940s touch to them, fit in the 1990s.

The supporting cast in the movie is excellent. I've always enjoyed Dyan Cannon, and she is at her most glamorous in "Out to Sea." Brent Spiner does an adequate job as Gil Godwyn, the singing cruise director in his first major role away from "Star Trek: The Next Generation." He actually has a good singing voice, and, while I think Kevin Kline might have been better in the part, I enjoyed his performance. Donald O'Conner, Hal Linden, and Elaine Stritch show wonderful moves on the dance floor and add class and showmanship reminiscent of movies made in the '40s and '50s.

Although I liked the acting and the music, I thought the plot was simplistic and predictable. There were no new surprises, and while it made me laugh at times, there weren't as many hysterical moments as there were in "My Best Friend's Wedding," the other comedy currently in theaters. While Lemmon and Matthau play their likable selves once again, I didn't see much creativity in their characters. They were, well, average Matthau and Lemmon, which is good, but I've seen it before.

"Out to Sea" does have its good points - the supporting cast, the musical numbers, the dancing, and the ambiance were all enjoyable. However, with its weak plot and major characters who didn't pull on your heartstrings, I recommend "Out to Sea" for a good video rental.

© 1997 - Pete Dunn - Air Date: 06/97

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