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Co-author Renee Taylor plays Fannie Saperstein a stereotypic, zaftig, Jewish mother serving love on a platter of guilt. She and her friend, Tess LaRuffa (Lainie Kazan), are moving into a
And so it goes. That is until they are convinced by the Bermuda shorts clad rabbi (Manny Kleinmuntz), Welcome Wagon member of the condo board, to join the community nature expedition. Tess and Fannie wander off from the group and are saved from a mugging by smarmy Johnny Paolucci (co-author Joe Bologna) who recognizes opportunity when he sees it. Triangle? Manage a trois? Whatever, by shameless flattery he moves in with them and transforms each of them, in secret from each other, and against their will, from their self-centered misery into a sex loving parody of giddy happiness and himself into a man with money for gambling and a roof over his head. With one exception, after about two and a half hours, everyone lives and loves happily ever after. Or something like that.
While Kazan missed lines and Bologna took a casual approach to comic timing, Kleinmuntz stood out as the kind of guy who would think being on a condo board was an important position; his deadpan complimented Taylors slapstick cliche act and between the two widows he looked like Jack Spratt, even if neither was his wife.
What may be worth the price of admission are the sexy getups the widows start sporting after being seduced by Johnnie and shedding their housecoat level attire. They are in Fredrick of Hollywood out of Lane Bryant, size extra large. Kazan wears her skin tight outfit and multi colored cape by Devon Renee Anderson with the assurance of an old time movie star and Taylor minces around the stage in a white showgirl get up by Gail Cooper-Hecht looking like a 52 puffed up marshmallow. Irresistible.
The largely senior citizen audience roared at the one liners and quite a few were funny. However, renting a video something like The Odd Couple or Bananas might be a lot more satisfying.
June3, 2006 - Karen Weinstein