Review: California Suite (1978)

: California SuiteDirected by Herbert Ross

Starring Maggie Smith, Michael Caine

Rent the DVD, and whenever someone’s not speaking with a British accent, hit the fast-forward button.

I’ve only listed Maggie Smith and Michael Caine above because they’re the only two worth watching in this Neil Simon play-into-movie which is 75% terrible and 25% fantastic. I think you can guess which part I’m referring to.

In a twist, Maggie Smith won an Academy Award for her portrayal of an actress who’s nominated for an Academy Award. She’s in top-notch form in this film. Unfortunately she and Caine have to share screen time with three other unrelated storylines–they all take place in the Beverly Hills Hotel–which vary from an extended episode of the Love Boat to cringe-inducingly bad. (Bill Cosby and Richard Pryor as constantly arguing friends on vacation have never been more unfunny.)

Here’s my suggestion–rent the DVD, and when someone’s not speaking with a British accent, hit the fast-forward button. Those 30 minutes of Maggie will be well-worth it. [***]

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