Review by Ryan
Dudley Moore makes a play for Woody Allen’s audience in Lovesick, which casts the Arthur star as a psychiatrist who falls in love with patient Elizabeth McGovern, a playwright who suffers from anxiety attacks after moving to New York City. Ron Silver, appearing as an intense, Pacino-esque theater actor, is Moore’s romantic competition, while Moore’s psychiatric colleagues also frown on the relationship for fear it will tarnish the reputation of their already perverse profession.
The impressive supporting cast includes Alec Guinness as Sigmund Freud, who lectures the protagonist in consultative daydreams; Wallace Shawn, whom My Dinner with Andre fans should enjoy in his sadly brief role here as another one of Moore’s fellow psychiatrists; and, haggard as ever at the end of her career, chain-smoking comedian Selma Diamond, whom viewers may remember from the first season of Night Court. David Strathairn, who would go on to win acclaim in the sanctimonious snore-inducer Good Night, and Good Luck, actually puts in an amusing comedic turn as a homeless economics professor convinced that messages are being beamed into his brain from the World Trade Center.
Writer-director Marshall Brickman, whose other credits include Annie Hall and Manhattan, would have done better to write more scenes for Silver and Shawn, who play no part in the film’s less focused and less satisfying second half. Probably because audiences had responded so positively to Dudley Moore as a happy-go-lucky drunkard in Arthur, Lovesick includes an unnecessary sequence with Moore getting silly and giddy after overdosing on mixed pills and alcohol. Ultimately, Lovesick is a flawed film brightened by some ridiculous situational humor and the unexpected chemistry between Moore and McGovern, and ought to entertain fans of romantic comedies that feature stereotypical New York neurotics.