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RYAN O'NEAL WITH JACK WARDEN AND RICHARD KIEL IN 'SO FINE'

Year: 1981 Rating: ***1/2

There were comedies not that funny yet still miraculously provided a fair amount of entertainment. And 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 the semi-slapstick SO FINE by first time director and usual Hollywood writer Andrew Bergman, in which Ryan O'Neal plays a semi-stuffy college professor up for tenure...

Richard Kiel in SO FINE

He's reluctantly brought into his father's failing New York City clothing/garment business 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...

Much of story has O'Neal as a fish out of water dolt like his quirky spectacle-donning klutz with hidden sex appeal smitten with a free spirited woman WHAT’S UP DOC? (O'Neal even calls his plight a bedroom farce)...

Richard Kiel in SO FINE

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 a pinball machine 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)...

Ryan O'Neal and Jack Warden in SO FINE

And annoyingly dated 1980's style sex-up contrived side-characters 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 accidentally derived during the love triangle mainline (after a "one foot out the door" situation), which is, for better or worse, what everything ultimately amounts to.

Random Jeans model for SO FINE



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