Protocol | Chicago Reader

Protocol

There are enough polished pros aboard—director Herbert Ross, cinematographer William A. Fraker, and (most crucially, I think) editor Paul Hirsch—to ensure that this 1984 Goldie Hawn vehicle is a lot less obnoxious than it has every right to be, but still . . . Goldie is a Washington, D.C., cocktail waitress who is given a phony job in the State Department when a visiting emir (Richard Romanus) takes a shine to her; it soon becomes clear to everyone except our wide-eyed heroine that the powers-that-be are planning to barter her off to his harem in exchange for a military base in his country. Every scene is shaped to the ego demands of the star, which apparently are oceanic: characters are introduced who have no function other than to laud her innocence, natural beauty, and just plain wonderful all-around Americanness, and when all the fawning climaxes with a grab at sub-Capra patriotic populism (readings from the Constitution, etc) the project loses just about any claim it has to satiric integrity. With Chris Sarandon, Cliff De Young, Gail Strickland, Kenneth Mars, Kenneth McMillan, and Andre Gregory.

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