Switching Channels

Year: 1988
Studio: Tristar Pictures
Director: Ted Kotcheff
Writer: Jonathan Reynolds
Cast: Kathleen Turney, Burt Reynolds, Christopher Reeve, Ned Beatty, Henry Gibson

When I first saw this movie I had no idea it was a modern update of His Girl Friday, and if I had perhaps I wouldn't have liked it so much. But something about the set-up grabbed me and I can still watch it happily. Maybe if I'd seen it after the 1940 screwball classic I would have realised it was a cheap copy.

Though Turner and Reynolds might not have the comic chemistry as Grant and Russell, they still crackle as former lovers and employer/employee Christy Colleran and John L Sullivan IV even though they reportedly hated each other on set.

Street smart TV news reporter Christy (Turner) wants to leave hard reporting and settle down with her pretty but out-of-his-depth new beau Blaine Bingham (Reeve), but her ex husband and boss Sully (Reynolds) can't believe it and starts plotting against her so as not to let her leave.

To woo her back he dangles an irresistible carrot in front of her - cover the story of a convicted death row inmate (Gibson) being used a pawn in a political skirmish between the idiotic Governor and the predator-like Congressman (Beatty) who's after his job.

Christy can't resist and drags poor, simple minded Blaine down with her back into Sullivan's world where she finds her true soul.

It mostly works thanks to Reynolds' dialogue, with some quotable one-liners that prop things up.

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