August 20, 1984 12:00 PM

Jamie Lee Curtis has become such a smart, witty and sexy actress that she makes this otherwise stupid, shoddy movie intermittently tolerable. She plays a 27-year-old divorcee who runs a near-bankrupt demolition derby in a small town (the film was made in Pontiac, III.). She has a ridiculous fling with a high school twerp, C. Thomas (The Outsiders) Howell, though she really loves Patrick (Uncommon Valor) Swayze, an unhappily married construction worker. Nothing that happens approaches life. The director was Randal (Grease) Kleiser, who seems to be auditioning for MTV—badly, in one dream sequence where Howell imagines himself to be a rock star. The production values are atrocious: The photography is washed out, the sound muddy, the editing slipshod. What is a nice actress like Curtis doing in a movie like this? (R)

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