September 03, 1979 12:00 PM

Take three adult couples, all spoiled, insensitive and fatuous. Add a girl and boy, both about 13, spoiled, insensitive and fatuous. Put them—where else?—in easy-to-loathe Manhattan. An extremely annoying movie is born. The executive producer is Robert Altman, the director Robert M. Young, who did the admirable adaptation of Short Eyes. But this is a cheat. The most promising scene, when the two kids—whose parents are into marital chaos—are tentatively easing into a sexual encounter, is snipped short, unresolved. The noxious characters’ problems arouse no sympathy. And the young girl’s fantasy paradise, “Shagalon,” sounds like a new synthetic rug fiber. The cast—including talented stage performers Irene Worth, Kathryn Walker, David Selby and Terry Kiser, plus miscast teens Trini Alvarado and Jeremy Levy—should have read instead for An Unmarried Woman or Manhattan. (PG)

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