Frankie & Johnny Review

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Recently released from the clink Johnny gets a job in a cafe beside waitress loner waitress Frankie. She resists his affections but persistent Johnny is determined that love will eventually blossom


A major dud on its theatrical release ossible, with the expected chemistry between Pacino and Pfeiffer simply failing to materialise, the direction by Pretty Woman helmsman Garry Marshall being limp in the extreme and the script by Terrence McNally sticking far too closely and literally to his own hit Broadway production.

And, as if all of this were not disappointing enough, The Previously Great Al Pacino wears a wretched bandana kind of thing around his head for most of the time, surely one of the ten great sartorial disasters in the movies.

Along the way, Pacino gets to have some seriously moody eye contact, a frenzied and not entirely successful bedroom romp with the frankly unrecognisable Kate Nelligan, and some of the corniest dialogue this side of Far And Away, a film which, in the essential conceit of its central premise, Frankie & Johnny faintly resembles.

And, er, that’s about it, bar the rather sickly musical accompaniment every time good old Frank or John takes a quick time out from feeding the masses. Pacino & Pfeiffer end up being just about as enthralling, just as gripping, as any other cranky waitress and short-order cook one cares to mention.

Frankie & Johnny is a salutary reminder of what happens when two Hollywood stars, no matter what firmament they may inhabit, are lumped together without any real storyline, subtlety or sex.