October 07, 1985 12:00 PM

To call this movie harebrained would be an insult to rabbits everywhere. It is apparently supposed to be a subtly profound comedy about an old college biology professor, Peter O’Toole, who is trying to clone his long dead wife. It comes across more as a silly combination of Goodbye Mr. Chips, Love Story and Voodoo Man, the 1944 horror howler in which Bela Lugosi keeps trying to revive his comatose Mrs. In this case, when the young girlfriend of the professor’s student assistant has a stroke, it’s clear that director Ivan (Cutter’s Way) Passer and debuting screenwriter Jeremy Leven (a former neuropsychology fellow at Yale) can’t decide whether they want a movie full of laughs or one full of wisdom. What they end up with is one full of baloney, trashing such cast members as Vincent (Baby, It’s You) Spano as the student assistant, Mariel (The Mean Season) Hemingway as a ditzy girl in love with O’Toole and David Ogden (TV’s M*A*S*H) Stiers as the faculty bully. O’Toole, given frequent, inane speeches about love and God, seems weary. His eyes are so often droopy, in fact, that the movie seems to be putting him to sleep. Why should he be any different from the rest of us? (R)

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