SEEMS LIKE OLD TIMES - AMC Carrollton, AMC Skyline, Aspen Hill, Crofton Cinema, Jenifer Cinema, Laurel Cinema, Loehmann's Plaza, NTI Tysons Center, Roth's Seven Locks, Showcase Andrews Manor and Springfield Mall.
The Hollywood holiday blitz is one of the more recent Christmas traditions. This year the celluloid studios sent us an even dozen -- the Twelve Flicks of Christmas, you might say -- but two of them arrived (as some Christmas cards do) just too late to respond to. If Neil Simon isn't a one-man embarrassment of riches, he is at least a one man embarrassment of affluence. He provides so much, and the quality -- while a standard product -- is good comedy and, what's more, dependable.
His newest movie is "Seems Like Old Times," and his stage musical "They're Playing Our Song" will open at the National Theater on Christmas. The show was a New York hit, and the film, too, should be popular.
"Seems Like Old Times" is a farce starring Goldie Hawn and Chevy Chase, both of whom have been able before to make comedy out of farces that were only dumb. This one is clever.
The silliness of the plot is a delightful kind. You can't complain about the number of times the heroine's ex-husband hides under the bed while she and her present husband are in it, if it's funny each time. Mistaken identity, various varieties of ethnic jokes, drunkenness, pratfalls, astonished snobs, even jokes about what animals do to the carpet -- each of these occurs over and over again. But each time works.
Even more amazing is the rapid-fire dialogue. Simon's best humor is not in big jokes, but in wry turns of phrase. The husband dashes into the kitchen during a cocktail party and reports the urgent need of fresh glasses because "They're drinking out of their hands." The wife seats guests at an important dinner party and then doublechecks the order: "Let's see -- boy, girl, boy, girl, Governor, girl."
The story is about -- oh never mind. It's too silly for words. But those words are well chosen.