Skin Deep

Although the title is descriptive and even self-critical, a more accurate label for this might be “Blake Edwards's Greatest Hits From Malibu.” Characters, gags, and situations from 10, S.O.B., The Man Who Loved Women, and That's Life! —including a womanizing, alcoholic hero in therapy for a creative block (John Ritter), a series of comic car accidents, and a lot of old standards sung at the piano—are trotted out, and the overall sense of deja vu is intensified by the fact that, apart from a lazy ending that refuses to confront or resolve the hero's problems, Edwards gives this comedy-drama pretty much the same degree of expertise and polish that he has its previous incarnations and variations. The movie certainly has its share of laughs, but don't expect any sort of revelation, especially if you've seen one or more of its predecessors. With Vincent Gardenia, Alyson Reed (in the Julie Andrews part), Joel Brooks, Julianne Phillips, and Chelsea Field.

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