The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
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All Critics (21)
| Top Critics (7)
| Fresh (2)
| Rotten (19)
A stillborn romantic comedy of staggering ineptitude.
It's hard to spot vintage Neil Simon in his screenplay for this indulgent comedy...
"The Marrying Man" seems to have died en route from Neil Simon's brain to the movie theater, but exactly where and why is anybody's guess. An autopsy by a professional is in order.
The Marrying Man isn't awful; it's something much less fun - conspicuously mediocre.
Jerry Rees's direction is straight-ahead: In a Neil Simon comedy, you don't jump in, you just try to keep out of the way.
There's more juice in the story than I usually expect from Neil Simon; the characters don't just trade one-liners, but get under each other's skins.
The lack of momentum ensures that the movie runs out of steam long before it reaches its inevitable conclusion...
the whole thing starts to spin in place, allowing its initial promise to evaporate
If the guy who wrote The Slugger's Wife disowned this movie ... that's a pretty bad sign.
The main problem with "The Marrying Man" is a simple one: It's a comedy and it isn't funny.
There's no snap, crackle, pop to this battle of the sexes; even real-life lovers Baldwin and Basinger fail to incinerate the screen with the passion that supposedly gets their nuptially cursed characters in the mess they're in.
Your basic, everyday boy-meets-girl, boy-marries-girl, boy-divorces-girl, boy-marries-girl-again, boy-divorces-girl-again, boy well, you get the idea.
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