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Garbo, in fact, says barely a word—it's everyone else who chatters endlessly in Sidney Lumet's wayward stab at sentimental comedy, which ultimately exists, as do most of his films, only as a showcase for disconnected displays of acting technique. The setup alone sets the gorge a-rising: Anne Bancroft is a feisty Jewish mother dying of a brain tumor; she asks her son, walking vacuum Ron Silver, to fulfill her final wish—a meeting with the legendary actress who has been her idol since childhood. The characters have “lovable” stamped all over them in bright red letters, but Lumet's indulgent direction serves mainly to highlight the most obnoxious mannerisms of his performers. With Carrie Fisher, Catherine Hicks, Steven Hill, Howard da Silva, Dorothy Louden, Harvey Fierstein, and Hermione Gingold.

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