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Movie Spotlight

January 25, 1998|Kevin Thomas

In his latest film, Warren Beatty has loved wisely but not all that well. His infatuation with the 1939 Love Affair, one of the great romantic weepies of its time, is well-placed, and his decision to faithfully remake such an openly sentimental and old-fashioned film is almost a brave one. Although Beatty's 1994 Love Affair (ABC Sunday at 9 p.m.) is effective in fits and starts, this third version of that sturdy tale (the fourth, if you count "Sleepless in Seattle," which it in part inspired) never manages to be more than a reasonable facsimile of its progenitor. But not even the kick husband and wife Beatty and Annette Bening must have gotten from re-enacting one of the screen's memorable liaisons--this time the lovers meet aboard a plane-- has been enough to bring this "Love Affair" totally to life. With Kate Capshaw, Pierce Brosnan and Katharine Hepburn.

The less seriously Waiting to Exhale (HBO Wednesday at 10 p.m.) takes itself, the more successful this 1995 film is. "Exhale" is based on Terry McMillan's hugely successful novel that examined the life and loves of four close female friends living in contemporary Phoenix. Played by Whitney Houston, Loretta Devine, Lela Rochon and Angela Bassett, they're all "waiting to exhale," hoping to feel comfortable enough in a relationship to relax into the long haul.

Like the original, the diverting 1990 Predator 2 (KTLA Thursday at 8 p.m.) has a jungle setting-an urban jungle. Another of those gigantic alien species that Arnold Schwarzenegger took on in the first film pops up in the midst of a shootout between Colombian and Jamaican drug gangs, making quick work of the beasts. Unfortunately, the big guy makes no distinction between good and evil, which spells trouble for cops Danny Glover, Maria Conchita Alonso and Ruben Blades.

The Cutting Edge (TBS Friday at 5:05 p.m. and KTLA at 8 p.m.) is a rousing 1992 crowd-pleaser of sufficient wit, vitality and intelligence to appeal beyond the teen audience for which it is intended. D.B. Sweeney and Moira Kelly excel as a volatile skating team preparing for the Winter Olympics.

Long before Dustin Hoffman showed off his comic prowess in the current "Wag the Dog," he proved what a drag being an unemployed actor in New York could be. His riotous turn in the 1982 Tootsie (TNT Saturday at 5 p.m.) was one of the comedic highlights of '80s American cinema. Director Sydney Pollack (who plays Hoffman's agent) takes a farcical premise and blends top-notch performances from Oscar-winner Jessica Lange, Teri Garr, Bill Murray, Dabney Coleman and Charles Durning with a dead-on script to create a highly memorable film.

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