“Don’t Tell Her It’s Me”
Directed by Malcolm Mowbray
Hemdale Pictures 1990
101 minutes

 by Tammy Wanchena

I am not a fan of Shelley Long. I hear her whiney, shrill voice and want to runaway. Fast. I am not a fan of Jami Gertz. There’s a point in “Less Than Zero” where her facial contortions literally make me sick to my stomach. Her voice sucks, too. So sit me down in front of a movie starring both Shelley Long and Jami Gertz and ask me to be open minded? Well….

Steve Guttenberg is “Gus”, a bald cartoonist who just underwent therapy for Hotchkinsen’s Disease. His sister, Lizzie (Shelley Long) is a romance novelist who is constantly meddling in his life. When a beautiful (?!?) journalist, Emily (Jami Gertz) attempts to interview Lizzie about her novels, Lizzie turns the interview onto Emily to determine if she’s the right woman for Gus. Lizzie arranges for the two singles to meet. Sadly, shallow Emily feels she is too good for a bald man. Of course Gus is in love with Emily, in spite of her inability to communicate and her lack of depth, because she is beautiful (?!?). Do you like the way I criticize their looks and their voices, and then I turn around and judge their characters for being shallow? Hypocritical bitch! First step towards recovery is admitting there’s a problem! Dead set on making a love connection, Lizzie transforms Gus into a character from one of her novels. Gus becomes “Lobo”; a Harley riding bad ass with a New Zealand accent and a Lorenzo Lamas Renegade look. Yes, “Lobo”.

“Don’t Tell Her It’s Me” claims to be an “HBO Crowd Pleaser- Money Back Guaranteed”. I’d have been pleased to watch it with a crowd. The right crowd would have enjoyed mocking this film with me. Suffering through it alone was not as fun. I thought the acting sucked all around. For me, the most interesting characters in the film were Trout (Kyle MacLachlan) as Emily’s on again/off again two-timing boyfriend and boss and his secret girlfriend, played by Madchen Amick. I did enjoy the way Shelley Long disciplined her daughter, “Piglet”. Yes, “Piglet”.

I felt the film had a good concept and the potential to be funny but it was horribly miscast. But if you like typical Hollywood movies from 1990 that reeks of the 1980’s and if you don’t loath Jami and Shelley as I do, it’s probably worth the rental. Me, I want my money back.


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