Picks and Pans Review: For Love or Money

Michael J. Fox. Gabrielle Anwar

This movie owes a big fat debt to The Apartment (1960), the classic Billy Wilder farce in which a young executive (Jack Lemmon) sucks up to his married bosses by lending them his apartment for quality romantic time with their girlfriends. Using a variation on the same plot, For Love manages to evoke traces of The Apartment’s humor, but misses its bite.

Fox is the concierge at a snooty Manhattan hotel who dreams of building a Plaza of his own. In need of backing, he curries favor with a mogul (Anthony Higgins) by supplying the guy with a room in which to frolic with a girlfriend (Anwar). She—big surprise!—turns out to be the same department-store salesgirl to whom Fox has been pitching woo. When the businessman enlists Fox to baby-sit Anwar while he makes nice with his suspicious missus (“She’s my third wife; you never leave your third wife,” he says), Fox must choose, as the movie’s title puts it, between love or money. One guess, folks.

Fox is appealing, but we have seen this shtick before. Anwar seems too youthful and earnest for her role. Better to rent The Apartment. (PG)

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