Micki & Maude Movie Review

Have you ever been to a party and flirted and chatted with a perfectly lovely guy or girl only not to get a phone number? That's happened to me a time or two and I've spent days analyzing what went wrong. It wasn't that I didn't have the power to do something, but other forces were at hand in my inactivity.

I'm currently in the same mental hell over Micki & Maude, Blake Edwards' 1984 alleged comedy. The remote control was right beside me, the stop button sending out its siren call, begging me to push it. And I did nothing. For two hours I watched an awful movie with as much laughs as a funeral home Christmas party. And I did nothing.

I can only hope that you, dear reader, will learn from my experience. Micki & Maude focuses on Rob Salinger (Dudley Moore, in the middle of his career slide), a TV reporter who badly wants kids. The problem is that his career-minded, lawyer wife Micki (Ann Reinking) is too busy for a family, which frustrates our antsy protagonist.

Separated for weeks by busy schedules, Moore falls in love with an equally beautiful cello player, Maude (Amy Irving). The two begin a torrid, fun fling, which reaches an impasse when she becomes pregnant. Overcome by love and the screenwriter's idiocy, Rob asks Maude to marry him. Rob plans to divorce Micki, but she throws him a curve by announcing that she's pregnant and wants to start a family. Rob, indecisive to say the least, decides that he can be with both women.

Of course, Rob finds it hard to keep up with the charade. I can relate. I gave up being an interested viewer at the hour mark. This is a sitcom pilot stretched to an interminable length. To wit, screenwriter Jonathan Reynolds (Leonard Part 6, The Distinguished Gentleman) floods his script with filler. We get to see Rob drink a glass of water while Maude goes to the bathroom, and Micki have a meaningless conversation with her parents. Plus, you get to see Rob's news reports, which are unfunny and useless, as well as lots of interior decorating scenes.

Reynolds and Edwards never find the right tone, mixing slapstick and tenderness like two maniacal finger painters with too many colors. Their timing is off throughout. Serious moments seem hollow because we've just seen a wedding attended by wrestlers (please don't ask) or some other unfunny event. And these unfunny "funny" moments don't work because they don't happen frequently enough, so it's jarring to see them. Especially when one comes right after the characters have bared their souls.

Though it's little consolation, the performances are fine all around, but the actors are stuck in such an awful script that shuffles them around from one contrived, tired scene to the next. Irving fares the best, her flirtatious first conversation with Moore is the movie's highlight. And the late Richard Mulligan, as Moore's best friend and boss, gets the movie's best lines, both of them.

Those lines: "I don't think he has the time" and "We'd like to name the baby after you." You can now feel free to invest your leisure time in better ways. You're welcome.

Aka Micki + Maude.


Micki & Maude Rating

" Unbearable "

Rating: PG-13, 1984


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