Big Business

Bette Midler and Lily Tomlin star as two sets of identical twins who are accidentally switched at birth by a myopic nurse. One pair is raised in a well-to-do New York family, the other is brought up in the sticks, and 30 years later they all come together during a calamitous weekend at the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan. It would be nice to report that two times Midler plus Tomlin equals twice as much fun, but the combination of Dori Pearson and Marc Rubel’s mechanical script with Jim Abrahams’s routine direction yields something akin to a standard Bob Hope farce of the 50s. The country caricatures are so crudely sketched in that they make Li’l Abner look like neorealism, and the repeated opening and closing of elevator doors to keep the twins apart eventually gets tiresome. A few laughs here, but most of them are forced. (JR)

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