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SOLITAIRE FOR TWO
Gary Sinyor, 1996


Our rating: 1

 

Would you green-light this unpromising script pitch? An assertiveness-training professor with a minor in body language falls for a psychic paleontologist who responds to men's impure thoughts with compulsive violence. Sabotaging its minimal screwball potential with two exceedingly charmless leads, SOLITAIRE FOR TWO makes DUMB AND DUMBER and TOMMY BOY seem like triumphs of gossamer sophistication.

Philandering Non-Verbal Communications professor Daniel Becker (Mark Frankel) finds lasting love when he meets no-nonsense paleontologist Katie Burrill (Amanda Pays), who responds with a roundhouse punch. Dedicated to fossil research and hoping to finalize a dream project in India, spinster Katie is able to psychically read men's thoughts--or at least the lewd ones. During her first date with smitten Daniel, mindreader Katie KOs the waiter for nursing sexual desires about her. Daniel's unrelenting passion initially drives Katie deeper into prehistoric studies with her associate Sandip Tamar (Roshan Seth), whom she believes to be asexual. Sending out mixed signals to each other, the couple argue heatedly and often. On the eve of her departure for India, Katie causes friction between Daniel and his married friends with her unsolicited psychic pronouncements. But when she realizes that Tamar also also has sexual designs on her, Katie shelves her dream project and opts for married life with Daniel, who's sworn off playing the field forever.

SOLITAIRE FOR TWO is one of those creaky romantic fabrications full of pathetic running gags (Katie's pugilistic responses) and few payoffs (Daniel's mildest-mannered pupil takes his assertiveness training so well that he pulls a pistol on his nasty boss). These slight synthetic comic bits mesh perfectly with a story line so billowy it seems to have been written on thistles.

Not only does the film's direction have all the pull of an infomercial, but the tacky dialogue appears to have been penned by "Dating Game" staffers trying to recycle double entendres into a full-length screenplay. There's something especially disheartening about a smutty romantic comedy; it's as if one awakens after a one-night stand to find one's bedmate and one's wallet gone. Violated by this dysfunctional bedroom farce, the audience finds nothing humorous in this valentine to violence. (Extreme profanity, nudity, sexual situations, violence.)

 

Country of origin:
U.K.
Genre:
Comedy; Romance
Color or b/w:
Color
Production Co(s).:
Dove International; Cavalier Features
Released By:
Paramount Home Movies
MPAA rating:
R
Parental rating:
Cautionary; some scenes objectionable
Running time:
105



 
Mark Frankel
Daniel Becker
Amanda Pays
Katie Burrill
Roshan Seth
Sandip Tamar
Jason Isaacs
Harry
Maryam D'Abo
Caroline
Helen Lederer
Cop
Malcolm Cooper
Cop
Annette Crosbie
Mrs. Dwyer
Neil Mullarkey
Parris
Liza Walker
Lucy
Kelly Salmon
Young Katie
Ricky Jones
Young Boy
Diana Eskell
Squeegee Girl
Robert Harley
Barman
Colin Wakefield
Businessman
Phil Fox
Businessman
Michael Shaw
Scientist
Alister Cameron
Scientist
Carli Harris
Clare
Rosalind Knight
Receptionist
Michael Schneider
Vincenzo
Paul Simpkin
Waiter
Norman Caro
Joe the Florist
John Levitt
Sharples
Catherine Russell
Julie Parrish
Otto Jarman
Neighbor
Stefan Schwartz
Neighbor
 
Producer:
Gary Sinyor
Richard Holmes
Co-Producer:
Andrew Cohen
Stephen Alexander
Exec. Producer:
Nigel Savage
Assoc. Producer:
Nick O'Hagan
Director:
Gary Sinyor
Writer:
Gary Sinyor
Cinematographer:
Henry Braham
Editor:
Ewa J. Ling
Music Composer:
David A. Hughes
Production Design:
Carmel Collins
Art Director:
Tim Ellis
Set Decorator:
John Hand
Casting:
Emma Style
Sound:
Stuart Wilson (recordist)
Special Effects:
Any Effects
Costume Design:
Rodger Parker
Make Up:
Jacquetta
Stunts:
Rod Woodruff

Solitaire for 2


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