The Marrying Man | Chicago Reader

The Marrying Man

In 1948, a few days before he's scheduled to marry the daughter (Elisabeth Shue) of the head of a movie studio (Robert Loggia), a wealthy playboy (Alec Baldwin) gets the hots for the singer girlfriend (Kim Basinger) of “Bugsy” Siegel (Armand Assante); the gangster catches them and forces them to get married for what proves to be the first of many times. Told mainly in flashback from the vantage point of 1956, this somewhat overproduced and overextended Neil Simon romantic comedy, like its lead couple, has more persistence than lasting charm, but at least certain aspects of the trimmings—tenor sax solos by Stan Getz, sleek production design by William F. Matthews—make it pleasant and watchable. Directed by former animator Jerry Rees (The Brave Little Toaster), the movie exhibits a fanciful period landscape that often suggests an animator's background, and Basinger is a bit livelier than usual. Costars Paul Reiser, Fisher Stevens, Peter Dobson, and Steve Hytner compose a sort of kibitzing Greek chorus of friends to the hero and are meant to suggest, respectively, Phil Silvers, Sammy Cahn, Tony Martin, and Leo Durocher.

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