The Main Event (1979)

Genres - Comedy, Romance  |   Sub-Genres - Romantic Comedy, Sports Drama  |   Release Date - Jun 22, 1979 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 112 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - PG
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Review by Craig Butler

As 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.