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The career trajectory that took Bartel from extremist satire to comfortable retro pictures with unthreatening undercurrents of outré humour (prefiguring a similar shift in John Waters' career) snapped into focus with this benign but anodyne pastiche of the Preston Sturges approach to screwball comedy. Lois (Allen, pert but vacuous) writes for a sleazy tabloid and dreams of turning it back into the crusading paper her father founded. Aided by an out-of-his-depth photographer (Naughton), she stumbles through exposés of a porn-baron and a bestiality club before uncovering evidence of the mayor's involvement in organised crime. Plenty of viable gags, but the tone is too innocuous and the performances are too one-dimensional for the film to work as anything more than a remembrance of comedies past. All Bartel and no bite.

Release details

Duration: 87 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Paul Bartel
Screenwriter: John Meyer, Paul Bartel
Cast: Nancy Allen
David Naughton
Laurence Luckinbill
Alice Ghostley
Barry Dennen
Richard Paul
Paul Bartel
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