review for Used People on AllMovie

Used People (1992)
by Michael Costello review

An attempt to capture some of the magic of Moonstruck, this foray into "little-people" comedy unfortunately lacks the charm or skill of the earlier film. The script, which centers on the courtship of recent widow Shirley MacLaine by a character played by Marcello Mastroiani(who is either a fantasy-figure or a madman) contains nary a credible scene. The writer's control of tone is so uncertain that he can't decide whether MacLaine's ragbag of eccentric friends and relatives, are deserving of raucous laughter or extreme tenderness. Under the circumstances, the all-star cast performs heroically, MacLaine in particular managing to make a believable character out of a few clichés representing a stunted emotional life. Even an actor of Mastroiani's charm and skill can't do much with a part that requires him to make an audience believe he fell in love with the widow after glimpsing her through a window 23 years earlier, and waited for her husband's death to make his move.