“Why is it you work your butt off all your entire life just to get ahead, and it takes a couple of nitwits about ten minutes to screw the whole thing up? “
I’ll admit this isn’t the greatest film that any one of our leading players starred in but that shouldn’t deter anyone from enjoying a minor ride through 1954 Texas when Jeff Bridges and Kim Basinger tangle with the slippery Rip Torn in this light, frothy attempt at comedy and crime.
Miss Basinger, looking stunning as usual is on the outs with her no count hubby Jeff while working down at the local beauty parlor. The film wastes little time setting up the crime angle of this Robert Benton directed effort. While attempting to get some risqué photos back from sniveling Jerry Stiller, Kim finds herself the on the run after Stiller is knifed in the outer office of his photo lab set up. Kim flees out the backdoor with the file clearly marked NADINE on the envelope. To keep the plot moving along, she’s soon to learn that her glossy’s are not in the stolen file but some sort of land development plans.
Looks like she’ll have to return to the scene of the crime if she wants those nudie shots or as Stiller called them, Art Studies. Who better to bring along than the man who wants to divorce her, Bridges. Bridges isn’t as dumb as the country hick he’s made out to be and knows she’s up to something. When the pair are discovered by the local patrol car, they are on the run from not just the cops but nasty Rip Torn who has the wrong envelope. The ones with lovely Kim’s photo shoot instead of the plans worth a fortune to the man who holds them.
Yes, good old boy Rip is responsible for the murder of George Costanza’s father.
The majority of the film plays itself out in a light romantic comedy of criminal proportions as our two stars tangle with the scene stealing Rip. Mr. Torn was made for roles just like this one. Cowboy hat, goatee and that southern drawl of an unsavory character. “You’re a two bit loser and you haven’t got the brains or balls for this.” Rip spits out to Bridges who knows the value of the plans that he is now holding on to.
The film never resorts to anything of an overtly violent nature though Rip is dead set on planting his competitors in the ground. He’s so good you almost want to root for him over Jeff and Kim though it must be said that even though we know going in the two will repair their differences and live happily ever after (maybe even with the money), your glad to see them do just that.
I think part of the reason I kind of liked this film when it came out and even now still find it amusing is the fact that I like the music on the soundtrack from the late 80’s duo, Sweethearts of the Rodeo. The song had a country video that commonly played The Nashville Network back at the time of the film’s release and featured the actors in many of the films action and romance scenes. It’s a catchy tune so feel free to give it a go and take a look at the “big hair.” Not fussy on the late 80’s country scene, then listen to that old truck radio and catch Lefty Frizzell singing “If You’ve Got the Money, I’ve Got the TIme” in the backdrop of one scene.