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‘Final Analysis’

By Desson Howe
Washington Post Staff Writer
February 07, 1992


Phil Joanou
Richard Gere;
Kim Basinger;
Uma Thurman;
Eric Roberts;
Paul Guilfoyle;
Keith David
Under 17 restricted

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"Final Analysis," a courtroom-murder-mystery thriller set in San Francisco, needs only cursory analysis:

STARGAZING: Richard Gere's a psychologist. Uma Thurman's his dream-fixated patient with recurring dreams about flowers -- or is she? Kim Basinger's her sister whom Gere gets into hot water with. Eric Roberts is Basinger's psycho-sleazy, money-laundering husband. Keith David's a detective who talks softly and chews a big stick.

PASSION FACTOR: Gere and Basinger go at it, of course. Only one torrid scene between them, with the usual striated light and shadows. Not very long. The same night, Roberts forces Basinger to go at it. Yuck.

BEAUTY CONTEST: That's all this Warner Bros. movie is. Some would say Gere wins it. Even more would say Basinger. The prize goes to Thurman. Despite her character's sometimes bedraggled, sometimes haggard appearance, and despite this movie, she remains as exotic and interesting as ever.

STORY: Hah! Another day, another inept homage to "Vertigo." Instead of Kim Novak in a church tower, it's Kim Basinger in a lighthouse. Bunch of psychological, Freudian mumbo-jumbo throughout. There's a background of incest in the Basinger-Thurman family. Thurman has regular consultations with Gere. Basinger has a dangerous syndrome called pathological intoxication -- or does she? Give her a drink one moment, she's clocking your head with a dumbbell the next. When abusive Roberts is found floating in the bathtub one day, Gere realizes he probably shouldn't order wine on the next date. Things get weirder and weirder, until it's clear scriptwriter Wesley Strick's the one who needs analysis.

MUSIC: Constant, unrelenting. George Fenton's score is imitation Hitchcock.

PERFORMANCES: Big and exaggerated, most of them. Only Gere, Thurman and defense attorney Paul Guilfoyle come off well. Basinger's an unintentional scream with her bad-blonde shtick. David's snaky, suspicious glances would be over-the-top for "Hook." Muscle-pumped, chest-bare Eric Roberts is in an overacting class of his own. His performance, unbelievably self-indulgent and hammy, is menacing only to the funny bone.

FUNNIEST LINE: After whacking her husband, Basinger is acquitted thanks to the pathological intoxication thing. She's told she'll need to be held indefinitely in a hospital for observation, but probably will be released in six to eight weeks. "That's too much," she says.

"Well, you did kill your husband," Thurman points out softly.

CONCLUSION: For videotape audiences only.

© Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company

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