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except for a few bright moments of good verbal comedy , that old feeling is embarrassing to sit through .
bette midler and dennis farina play lilly and dan , actress and author , once married , now violently divorced , and back together one last time for their daughter molly's ( paula marshall ) wedding .
lilly and dan hate each other passionately -- so passionately that they have sex at the wedding and fall in love again .
each ditches his or her current spouse of 14 years and runs off with the other .
molly , married now only 24 hours , runs off in search of her irresponsible parents while her husband keith ( jamie denton ) tries to console the abandoned spouses .
in molly's search for her parents , she somehow falls in love with lilly's paparazzo joey ( danny nucci ) .
meanwhile , the newlywed keith ends up consoling dan's wife rowena ( gail o'grady ) in bed .
the audience i saw this with apparently thought that all the adultery was hilarious .
i'm no dan quayle , but i thought it was a bit creepy .
the message seemed to be " ignore your responsibilities unrepentantly and have fun fucking who you wish . "
" family values " aside , there's something cruel about all this .
perhaps this movie would have played well as a black comedy , but the movie is a romantic comedy .
we are supposed to be rooting for these creeps .
reiner and screenwriter leslie dixon tried to make it easier on us by making the victims unlikeable .
lilly's husband is a new-age flake who rambles about " emotional valet parking , " so we can write him off as irrelevant .
dan's wife is vain , manipulative , and jealous so we can write her off as a bitch .
molly's husband is a career-conscious , self-centered republican politician who thinks she's too fat ( and just for good measure , he also fucked dan's wife ) , so we can write him off as a prick .
everyone else falls in love .
but still , that somehow doesn't justify the actions of the movie's main characters .
" he's a prick " or " she's a bitch " is no defense .
the movie is somewhat redeemed by some funny dialog -- often during heated arguments -- and by above-average performances by midler and farina ( breaking out of his character-actor mold ) .
other than that , it's a standard romantic comedy with a very substandard gimmick .
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