Genre-defying 70s caper which is essentially an homage to many of Alfred Hitchcock's finest films but also a comeback vehicle for Goldie Hawn at her kookiest and most gorgeous. In fact she is so stunning in this movie it makes a nonsense of the idea she is a shy librarian - but anyway...
Hawn's character is Gloria Mundy, a reference to "Sic transit gloria mundi," a Latin phrase meaning "thus passes the glory of the world" which was included in the ritual of papal coronation ceremonies. It ties in neatly with the zany narrative which centres on a bizarre plot to assassinate the pope while he is on a visit to San Francisco.
The mayhem begins when Gloria picks up a man whose car has broken down. He is actually a CIA agent who deposits a microfilm in her handbag which he intends to collect later. The microfilm becomes a "Macguffin" - a classic Hitchcockian plot device (look it up after watching the film!)
After the mysterious microfilm are the bad guys involved in the plot: classic bunglers who enable Gloria to get involved in a series of daring escapes. There are some jump scares, some wonderful gags, some terrific support characters and one of the longest, dullest car chases of all time. But it's a wonderful advert for San Francisco and a terrific comedy-mystery-drama-romance.
Hawn and Chevy Chase would star together again after the success of their on-screen chemistry.
The theme tune "Ready To Take A Chance Again" (sung but not written by Barry Manilow) was nominated for an Oscar and is used very neatly in the film, which has a madcap finale and a notable role for the ever-hilarious Dudley Moore.
So there are many reasons to enjoy this little 70s curiosity, and it stands repeated viewing although it undoubtedly loses its way in the final third.
This movie contains that 70's feelgood factor that is so rare to find now. Both Goldie and Chevy play it with plenty of chemistry and subtle slapstick. The laughs come easily, when the focus falls on two old ladies involved in an interesting game of Scrabble and Dudley Moore is just brilliant as the sexually frustrated single on the cicuit. The bad guys provide plenty of action as they pursue Goldie for an item that she doesn't know she has. All in all a good light-hearted comedy thriller.
One of the most delightful confections of 70s movie going was the hybrid of romance, comedy and thriller. In most cases, one is grateful if any of the genres are done right but when you mix them all together, sometimes it's a cinematic recipe for disaster. However, Colin Higgins (9 To 5) who directed in addition to writing the screenplay has concocted a congenial blend of mystery, laughs and charm. A librarian (Goldie Hawn) innocently picks up a hitch hiker and then finds herself mixed up in murder, missing bodies, albino killers, dwarfs and an assassination by a radical political group. Hawn is irresistible here. You can see why she was America's reigning sweetheart of the 70s. Chevy Chase keeps both his smugness and mugging in check and an amusing Dudley Moore starts his American career. The theme song, READY TO BEGIN AGAIN, is one of the great movie love songs which inexplicably lost the best song Oscar to YOU LIGHT UP MY LIFE. With Burgess Meredith, Rachel Roberts, Brian Dennehy and Billy Barty.
The region 1 DVD is a nice anamorphic wide screen (1.85) transfer.