Combustible Celluloid
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With: Michael Keaton, Geena Davis, Bonnie Bedelia, Christopher Reeve, Ernie Hudson, Charles Martin Smith, Gailard Sartain, Ray Baker, Mitchell Ryan, Willie Garson, Harry Shearer, Steven Wright, Jodi Carlisle
Written by: Robert King
Directed by: Ron Underwood
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for one use of strong language
Running Time: 99
Date: 12/16/1994

Speechless (1994)

2 Stars (out of 4)

Bad Words

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Possibly, but not necessarily based on the real-life relationship between liberal political consultant James Carville and conservative commentator Mary Matalin, the movie Speechless (1994) eventually dissipates anything even closely resembling real life. It's a shame because Michael Keaton and Geena Davis could have been at their charming best here, playing rival political speechwriters who fall in love during a New Mexico senatorial race. But the movie betrays them with so many dumb sitcom moments and idiotic misunderstandings that the actors barely know how to react. One situation depends on the science fiction idea that Davis's character is unable to wake Keaton's character from a deep slumber, even after dropping him on the floor. Despite not working as a romance or a comedy, the even bigger shame is that this doesn't even try to be a political satire. Christopher Reeve plays the third wheel in the romantic triangle, a thankless role as a self-obsessed TV reporter (it was one of his final roles before his debilitating accident). The only good thing about Speechless is the poster, which features the instantly-recognizable lips of Keaton and Davis, presumably in pre-kiss mode. Ron Underwood directed, from a screenplay by Robert King. Olive Films released it on Blu-ray in 2016.

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