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Prime-Time Flicks

March 23, 1997|Kevin Thomas

In the so-so 1994 Milk Money (NBC Sunday at 9 p.m.), Melanie Griffith endearingly plays a Pittsburgh prostitute on the lam who winds up in the backyard tree house of a 12-year-old whose house father (Ed Harris) is a nice widower. But "Milk Money" is too credibility-defying for Griffith and Harris, despite their winning portrayals, to save.

Despite a high-powered cast (Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn) and a zany/trendy concept, what we have here with Housesitter (KTLA Tuesday at 8 p.m.) is a tepid screwball comedy made bypeople whose screws are barely loose at all. Its story of a gleeful con woman who moves in on a lovelorn architect is occasionally amusing but not as often as it should be.

Although writer-director Chris Columbus, with Only the Lonely (KTLA Friday at 8 p.m.), gets caught in a limbo between comedy and TV drama naturalism, the casting of John Candy as a bachelor Chicago cop and Maureen O'Hara, in her first film since 1971, as his domineering, violently opinionated mother, is really inspired. It's not the gem it wants to be, but this 1991 release is not just a movie only a mother could love.

Dr. Zhivago (KCET Saturday at 9 p.m.) spells revolution and romance, very lushly adapted from Boris Pasternak's banned Nobel Prize winner. Director David Lean, writer Robert Bolt and cinematographer Freddie Young put a sheen on war-torn Russia; it gleams and glows in a symphony of whites--and Lean's frequent theme of impossible love has rarely been so agonizingly sustained and protracted with results at once glorious but also sometimes merely ponderous. With Omar Sharif and Julie Christie as the star-crossed lovers.

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