Something Short of Paradise (1979)

Genres - Comedy, Romance  |   Sub-Genres - Romantic Comedy, Urban Comedy  |   Release Date - Sep 14, 1979 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 91 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - PG
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Unless filmmakers have a real "can't miss" film, they should avoid titles such as Something Short of Paradise, which make such easy targets. Paradise is definitely not a "can't miss" film; as a matter of fact, it's a film made up mostly of misses. Very clearly modeled after the much superior Annie Hall, Paradise is a romantic comedy with few laughs and not a lot of real romance. If one hopes it will make up for this with a strong story, one should put those hopes away immediately: the plot to Paradise is weak and meandering. The film could still turn out well if it were to boast some lovable, memorable characters; alas, Paradise falls short here, too. The Woody Allen and Diane Keaton knock-offs are sketchily written and have very little interest. That leaves an awful lot on the shoulders of stars David Steinberg and Susan Sarandon, and while both try their best, they simply can't do a lot with the dull material. It's not an abysmal mess; the stars don't have to slog through embarrassing dialogue and hopelessly motivated plot turns; but they do have to deal with a screenplay that is generally lackluster. Sarandon comes out of it rather better than Steinberg.