Off Beat | Chicago Reader

Off Beat

A bumbling nice-guy librarian (Judge Reinhold) poses as a New York City policeman to win the heart of a lovely lady cop (Meg Tilly). Michael Dinner's second feature (1986) rediscovers some of the unexpected warmth and intimacy of his debut in Heaven Help Us, but the sensitive moments don't jibe particularly well with Mark Medoff's farcical, overplotted, and coincidence-laden screenplay. The film hints that Reinhold's fascination with Tilly is intertwined with the thrilling new sense of danger and power his borrowed role has given him—a Hitchcockian sentiment, if ever—yet the suggestion is lost in the broad comedy of the last two reels, which Dinner handles with an embarrassed, uncertain air. With Cleavant Derricks, Joe Mantegna, Jacques d'Amboise, and Harvey Keitel; handsomely photographed by Antonioni's man, Carlo Di Palma.

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