Unrecognised, frustrated artist Harry Donovan (Patric) is, however, acknowledged by high stakes art fraudsters as the best forger alive. Harry is presented with a tantalising challenge: to create a fake Rembrandt that will pass every technical and aesthetic test. This multi-million dollar scam will be his last criminal job and pay him enough to pursue his own muse.
In the 60s, this sort of art caper and double-buff plot would have tripped lightly and gracefully across the screen starring Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn. Nowadays, what you get is Jason Patric above the title and the certain knowledge that this is going to be more of a plod. The more so, since hit-or-mostly miss director Badham's work is not noted for sparkle or elan.
Of course, the plot's scam all goes horribly wrong. The scenery is nice - with Harry charging around Europe when he isn't locked in his Dutch garret painting and ageing his "masterpiece" - and since a Eurobabe there must be, Jacob is wheeled in to play (wait for it) the world's foremost Rembrandt expert, with whom the unsuspecting Harry locks loins, having naturally mistaken her for a mere beautiful young art student.
As the film opens with Harry framed for murder and pursued by cops before going into flashback, it comes as no surprise when Harry and the woman wind up handcuffed, at odds, and fleeing hither and yon in a futile attempt to evoke classic Hitchcock.
Muddy though it is, the story would be pleasantly watchable but for two insoluble problems. First, Patric is good looking but not a film carrying star by any definition. Second, there is no humour, charm or sophistication to engage one in the romantic mystery potential, leaving only a lacklustre drama with a veneer of forced tension as phoney as Harry's forgeries.
It wants to be Hitchcock, but it just doesn't have the sparkle, plain and simple. It falls flat in casting and without a sense of adventure, it's easily detectable as a fake.