Here's the recipe for "Paradise Road": Take the David Lean film "Bridge on the River Kwai," remove the bridge, remove the men, add chicks, add music. Voila! Please stop by Hollywood between the hours of 8 am and 5 pm to pick up your million-dollar check.
Writer/Director Bruce Beresford, who tried to bore the piss out of half the planet with the ridiculously melodramatic "Driving Miss Daisy," mucks up this film by introducing so many characters that by the time they start dropping dead of malaria it's actually something of a relief. They contract malaria because they're caught by the Japanese and placed in a prison camp during World War II.
To pass the time and show the Japanese they aren't weenie foreigners, Adrienne Pargiter (Glenn Close) and Margaret "Daisy" Drummond (Pauline Collins) form a vocal orchestra and wow everybody with their musical skill. First they do a rendition of Dvorak, followed by the music "Star Trek" always played whenever Kirk was in a big fight. You'll know it immediately because Kirk emerges from nowhere and knocks Glenn Close silly with a double-fisted back blow. Okay, okay, maybe I was just hoping that would happen.
When the Japanese hear the vocal orchestra they become all mushy and sweet, much like Peter Boyle in "Young Frankenstein." At this point, the metaphorically-challenged may continue on unharmed, but the rest of the audience will double over in pain as the "music can soothe the savage beast" message drops from the theater ceiling like chunks of loose plaster.
To spread the word about this Paradise Road review on Twitter.To get instant updates of Mr. Cranky reviews, subscribe to our RSS feed.