WHO'S That Girl." Is it a question, or a statement? Is it a movie, or a question? Any questions? Anybody care?
Not Madonna. If anything's clear as the laughter dies in vague misgivings about this silly romantic-comedy-slapstick-video, it's this: Papa don't preach, and Madonna don't care. If her hair's blonde and her eyebrows are black, so what? It's her. If she has the voice of Bugs Bunny and the body of Elmer Fudd, hey -- it doesn't matter. As long as we love her -- as long as we care enough to send the very best (including hit-record producers, lipstick dyes and helicopters to cover her wedding).
The funny thing about "Who's That Girl" is -- it's funny. Even if you're sure Madonna, unlike Marilyn, ain't acting. ("Gee whiz Mistah Bell ya really outdid yaself dis time . . .") Even if you've had it up to here with the riches-to-rags plot. (Let's see: "Night Shift," "Trading Places," "Risky Business" . . . At this point both Madonna and costar Griffin Dunne have been down this road before, she in "Desperately Seeking Susan," he in "After Hours.")
Soon after uptown lawyer Loudon Trott (Dunne) meets the tough-talking but goodhearted ex-con Nikki Finn (Madonna -- an' she wuz framed, see), his life is a shambles, not to mention his tux, his appointment book and his future mother-in-law's Rolls Royce. But he is determined to finish his uptown rounds, which will culminate in his marriage tomorrow to the boss's daughter (played with sweet and nasty panache by Haviland Morris). Nikki, on the other hand, is dying to drive sideways through crowded parking lots, shoplift, race a train, buy machine guns with Loudon's Gold Card and track down the bum who framed her. So Loudon whines, spouselike: "We did one of your things already -- we murdered the pimp and the fat man. Now let's do one of my things." At another point, after a firefight: "Just tell me, I really want to know -- are you the antichrist?"
Director James ("Reckless") Foley draws much intense recklessness out of Dunne, who in one scene comes barreling out of a building so fast that you know the head-first dive that follows was no painless illusion. As the upstanding automaton ambushed by happenstance and lowlifes, Dunne steals every scene he's in -- which, luckily, is most of them. And his is not even a household face. They really should've called it "Who's That Guy."
So. Will Loudon forsake his proper but soulless fiancee for Leo Gorcey in a tutu? Will Nikki clear her name? Can Nikki spell her name? For answers to these and similarly urgent midsummer questions (including, no kidding, "Knock knock?"), "Who's That Girl" is just the thing. WHO'S THAT GIRL (PG) --