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‘Look Who’s Talking Now’ (PG-13)

By Rita Kempley
Washington Post Staff Writer
November 08, 1993

Take the "dle" out of "poodle" and you've pretty much got the leitmotif of "Look Who's Talking Now," a crude and mawkish film in which dogs attempt to communicate with Kirstie Alley and John Travolta.

The third "Talking" finds the Ubriacco couple happily engaged in domestic pursuits when he lands a job as the private pilot of a home-wrecking cosmetics honcho (Lysette Anthony). Matters are complicated when the family acquires two dogs, a scrappy mutt (voice of Danny DeVito) and a French poodle (voice of Diane Keaton), for the kids (David Gallagher and Tabitha Lupien).

The poodle is, what else, a bitch with a snotty obedience school accent and a Wedgwood water bowl. She can't stand the mutt, who drinks from the toilet bowl and just can't stop soiling the rug. And, hoo boy, do they trade the zingers.

The Ubriaccos are lucky. They can't hear them. We the audience, on the other hand, can eavesdrop on their every bone mot. When she calls him a "tick magnet," he ripostes: "Like you never sniffed a butt." Of course, the lady falls for the tramp, who takes her for a night on the town. And why not, the tramp's got a way with words, as in: "Come on, let me get a leg over you."

The people, meanwhile, don't have lines quite that good. Olympia Dukakis, who plays Alley's wisecracking mom, confirms her daughter's suspicions that the cosmetics queen is after Travolta: "She practically offered him Taster's Choice." The hussy, in fact, plans to seduce him on Christmas Eve, a development that drives our heroine, her kids and the dogs into the woods and the jaws of a ravening wolf pack. Oh yes: On top of everything, the little boy is beginning to lose faith in Santa Claus.

You'd think that would be enough plot for 90 or so minutes, but director/co-writer Tom Ropelewski includes a series of dream sequences -- one with Travolta and Alley as Fred and Ginger and another with Charles Barkley shooting hoops with the little girl. She's a big fan ... Oh, never mind. Somebody call the dogcatcher.

"Look Who's Talking Now" is rated PG-13 for crude language and sexual references.

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