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January 07, 1998 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-01-07

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Woody Allen's latest comedy, "Deconstructing Harry," opens today at
the Michigan Theater. Chock full of superstars, such as Demi Moore
and Billy Crystal, "Harry" tells the tale of a writer (Woody Allen)
whose semi-autobiographical best seller about his life blurs the line
between friends and enemies and between fantasy and reality. Catch
the outrageously raunchy comedy tonight at 7 and 9. Tickets are $5.

January 7, 1998

Januay_7, 9988

Sonny Bono dies in skiing accident!

The Associated Press
Sonny Bono, a 1960s pop star-
turned-politician, was killed when he
struck a tree while skiing Monday. He
was 62.
Bono, an avid skier, was alone on an
intermediate slope at the Heavenly Ski
Resort when he crossed beneath a
chairlift and struck a tree, said Stan
Miller, Heavenly's main lodge manag-
Bono had been reported missing
about two hours before his body was
found. A ski patrol found the body after
a search of the Nevada side of the
mountain, said his spokesperson, Frank
Cullen Jr.
Bono and his then-wife, Cher, gained
fame in the 1960s with hits "I Got You,
Babe" and "The Beat Goes On."
The two moved to television with
"The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour,'
which ran on CBS from 1971-74, and
then again during the 1976-77 season,
after they divorced.
This is the second high-profile skiing
death on Western slopes in less than a
On New Year's Eve, Michael

Kennedy, the 39-year-old son of the late
Robert F. Kennedy, died when he skied
into a tree in Aspen, Colo., while play-
ing football on skis.
Heavenly, 55 miles southwest of
Reno at the California-Nevada state
line, is one of the region's premier ski
Bono was on a vacation with his
wife, Mary Whitaker, and their two
children, 6-year-old Chianna and 9-
year-old Chesare, when the accident
"They were enjoying a family vaca-
tion,' Cullen said yesterday. "He was a
very proficient skier. He skied frequent-
ly with his family and, yes, he was an
athletic guy - he skied and played ten-
Bono was first elected to Congress in
1994 as a Republican from Palm
Springs, where he served as mayor from
1988-1992. At one point, he was the
second-most requested draw at House
members' events behind Speaker Newt
Bono, who divorced Cher in 1974,
married Whitaker in 1986. He had one
child with Cher - lesbian activist

Bone and ex-wife Cher perform in 1979 on "The Mike Douglas Show." Bono retired
from music and started a career in politics in 1988.

Chastity Bono - and two children with
Whitaker. Bono had one child, Christy,
with his first wife.
He was a restaurant owner and man-
agement consultant from 1982 to 1995.
He first entered politics in 1988, when
he became mayor of Palm Springs, a

small desert community 111 miles
southeast of Los Angeles.
Bono regaled audiences at political
fund-raisers with the same type ofself-
deprecating anecdotes he used in ,his
days as an entertainer. He supported the
Republican "Contract with America

Rep. Sonny Bona (R-Calif.), 62, is survived by four children and his third wife.

Despite Nicholson,

'Good' isn't

as great as it should have been

By Matthew Barrett
Daily Arts Writer
Put Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt and Greg Kinnear in a car
for a trip down the East Coast and you have the makings of
an interesting movie. But a few good performances and indi-
vidual scenes, can't save "As Good As It Gets" from being an
unsatisfying movie.
Jack Nicholson shines as the film's
main character, romance novelist Melvin
Udall. Whenever he sees the tiniest chink
in someone's armor, Melvin pries it open AS
and exposes it with his sharp tongue. His
character is nasty and vicious, yet it's hard
not to feel sorry for the guy throughout
the movie. At Ann Arbor 1&2, Bri
Melvin suffers from obsessive-compul-
sive disorder, a touchy condition that director James L. Brooks
handles with the right amount of care. It would have been easy
for him to let Nicholson slip into his over-the-top acting style
and make Melvin ridiculous, but he avoids this. Melvin's OCD
is displayed through behaviors such as locking each bolt on his
door five times before leaving it, avoiding stepping on any
cracks in sidewalks, washing his hands several times with new
bars of soap before being satisfied that they are clean and
bringing his own plastic silverware to restaurants.
The supporting characters who must deal with Melvin's
compulsions consist of Carol (Helen Hunt), a single mother
who is a waitress at Melvin's favorite restaurant; Simon (Greg
Kinnear), a gay artist who lives next to Melvin and Frank
(Cuba Gooding Jr.), an art dealer and Simon's friend. Both
Kinnear and Gooding turn in strong performances and nei-
ther seem to blink an eye when they share the screen with
The plot of the movie follows the lives of Melvin, Simon

and Carol as they try to deal with the curveballs life toss
their way. After Simon is brutally beaten and robbed of ever
thing he has, leaving his life at rock bottom, he slowly
becomes friends with Melvin. In need of financial assistance,
Simon decides his only option is to go ask for help from his
parents, who he hasn't seen or spoken to in years.
Trouble is, they live in Baltimore and he has no way of get-
ting there. Enter Melvin, who through
some keen coercion by Frank, reluctantly
drives Simon to his parents. Through an
Good AS It arrogant yet pitiful plea, that only
Gets Nicholson could successfully deplo
Melvin convinces Carol to join them. HO
intentions also include getting a little
rwood and Showcase closer to his favorite waitress.
The script for the movie, by director


Brooks and Mark Andrus, is quite uneven. Some moments
are funny and touching, while others may leave you scratch-
ing your head. It's hard to figure what they had in mind for
the point, since it seems to be nothing more than a look in on
a segment of a few people's lives. It is also a little confusing
why Carol puts up with Melvin's daily verbal abuse in the
restaurant when the owner would be more than happy to
rid of him.
Another weak point of the movie is the overuse of Simon's
dog to get a laugh. If the movie is really supposed to be a
comedy about relationships, then why does the dog keep pop-
ping up? If you're older than 5, the behavior of the dog is not
going to be consistently funny. Sure everyone laughs the first
time the dog makes a face, but not the fourth time.
Overall, "As Good As It Gets" has some interesting parts
and a great performance from Nicholson, but the makers
were unable to bring them together to form a cohesive and
enjoyable movie.

1 Carol (Helen Hunt) falls for the dispicably charming Melvin (Jack Nicholson) in James L Brooks', "As Good As it Gets."


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