Written by / 6/10/2014 / No comments / , , , ,

RYAN O'NEAL & RICHARD KIEL CLASH UNKIND IN 'SO FINE'

1981 rating: ***
From HERO AT LARGE to THE ONE AND ONLY to ALL THE MARBLES to THEY ALL LAUGHED to THE SURVIVORS and many others in this particular era, the late seventies/early eighties had a share of comedies that weren't that funny yet still miraculously provided a fair amount of entertainment where, in some cases, the actual plot took place halfway in and wound up not meaning a lot to the actual structure of the film, story, or characters... 

One such vehicle is SO FINE, in which Ryan O'Neal plays a stuffy college professor brought into his father's failing clothing biz thanks to a nefarious criminal, played by James Bond heavy Richard Kiel, ready to take over Jack Warden's crippled enterprise unless something's done about the massive debt...

VHS Cover
Much of story has O'Neal as a fish out of water dolt, revisiting his quirky everyman smitten with a free spirited woman straight out of WHAT’S UP DOC? Here he's in lust with an Italian moll while trying his very best not to get killed by her husband, the monstrous Kiel, who temperamentally destroys pinball machines like cookie crumbs. It's nice seeing the beloved cult actor in a "larger" role than usual, his abundant size serving as more than punchline wallpaper; and he's a genuine threat despite the wacky shenanigans.

Meanwhile, O'Neal has almost no chemistry with the blond starlet, who looks and acts like a sexy throwaway bit player rather than a co-lead in a romantic comedy (looking as if Judy Landers bought 51% stock on Anne De Salvo). That aside, SO FINE is best known for the provocative designer jeans with plastic in the back where the pockets should be, exposing a woman's "assets." And yet, other than a quick montage of the business skyrocketing, this particular device has little to do with the overall story – except that it came about during the love triangle mainline, which is, for better or worse, what everything ultimately amounts to.
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