In Steve Martin’s fourth collaboration with director Carl Reiner, Martin plays Roger Cobb – an idealistic lawyer (and part-time be-bop jazz guitarist), half of whose body is possessed by the spirit of Lily Tomlin’s dead and unpleasantly crotchety millionairess, Edwina Cutwater.
In a bizarre reincarnation scheme, Edwina’s soul had been aimed at the body of beautiful Terry Hoskins (Victoria Tennant) at the moment of the sickly woman’s last breath. But her plan takes a wrong turn, and her soul winds up sharing Cobb’s body with him.
It’s an uneven effort, but Martin provides a feast of physical comedy as he simultaneously walks and talks as half-man, half-woman.
Character actor Richard Libertini – as wacky Swami Prahka Lasa – is the next best thing to Steve Martin in the film, while Victoria Tennant seems wasted in a role that is too uptight.
Dr Betty Ahrens