September 10, 1979 12:00 PM

Farrah Fawcett-Majors, in a dazzling wardrobe that clings to the few parts of her torso it covers, is so gorgeous she competes with the Acapulco scenery and wins by a hair (plus teeth). She also turns out to be a thoroughly professional comedienne, with deft timing and a sense of when to throw a line away. For a detective spoof like this to work, though, a presence like hers needs a strong male personality as counterweight. Bob Hope did it successfully in his spy-thriller comedies of the ’40s, brashly keeping such glamor women as Madeleine Carroll, Paulette Goddard, Hedy Lamarr and Dorothy Lamour at bay. Here Charles Grodin plays a private eye who hires Farrah to act as his wife while he investigates an insurance claim. Though Grodin’s subtlety can be effective, Hope he’s not. Director Richard Sarafian, meanwhile, lets countless promising scenes fizzle—Grodin tentatively rubbing his co-star’s back, a car chase that ends up in a bullring and Art Carney discoing with Farrah, to name three. The misused Carney, in fact, seems to ad-lib dialogue and gestures to fill dead spots. It keeps him pretty busy. (PG)

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