(1979)3Craig ButlerAs screen teams go, Barbra Streisand and Ryan O'Neal are not up there with Hepburn and Tracy or Woody Allen and Diane Keaton, but they made a surprisingly winning couple in What's Up Doc? The follow-up, The Main Event, doesn't match the original, but it's enjoyable, and the stars are still watchable. The main problem, of course, is the script. The plot is weak and predictable, and the humor is forced. For example, Streisand says, "I said celebrate, not fornicate!" O'Neal replies, "I love a woman who talks dirty." The stars are also saddled with characters that are a little hard to take. Fortunately, they still have that all-important chemistry, and that -- plus their timing and their way with even second-rate lines -- makes up for a great deal. In addition, there are some excellent players in the supporting cast, including the always-welcome Paul Sand and the dependable James Gregory, although one wishes better use had been made of their talents. Patti D'Arbanville at least gets a very memorable coughing scene. Though not a musical, Streisand does sing the popular but vapid title song (and sounds quite good doing so). Not a film for the ages, Main Event gets enough punch from its cast to go the distance.
Barbra Streisand and Ryan O'Neal attempt to recapture the screwball spark of What's Up, Doc? in the labored farce The Main Event. Streisand plays Hillary Kramer, a bankrupt perfume executive who discovers that one of her tax write-offs from more prosperous times was the ownership of prizefighter Kid Natural (Ryan O' Neal). Kid Natural is now a driving instructor who wants nothing to do with boxing, but Hillary is determined to resurrect the Kid's less-than-spectacular boxing career. She installs herself as the Kid's manager and tries to get him in shape to go the distance. Along the way, the two fall in love.