Outrageous Fortune [1987]

Sometimes a movie works despite all its faults. Outrageous Fortune has a flimsy, formulaic script, so-so production values, and an odd combination of stars, but somehow it's engaging and fun. Shelley Long and Bette Midler play two struggling actresses--one a hoity-toity priss and the other a brassy slob--who learn they've been sleeping with the same guy (Peter Coyote) when he gets blown up in a terrorist assault and they confront each other in the morgue. When they discover that he's still alive, the bickering pair track him down, traipsing across the U.S. in high heels, pursued all the way by government agents, using their dubious acting talents to get them out of tough situations. The absurd plot keeps things moving and director Arthur Hiller (Silver Streak, The Out of Towners) gets cheerful performances out of everyone, particularly the strong supporting cast--including Robert Prosky (Broadcast News, Mrs. Doubtfire) as a pompous acting teacher, comedian George Carlin as a burnt-out would-be Indian, and the underused John Schuck (M*A*S*H, McCabe & Mrs. Miller) as a long-suffering agent. Contrived, cliché-ridden, but just absurd enough to entertain. --Bret Fetzer

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