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"HER ALIBI": THERE'S NO EXCUSE FOR IT.

SO TOM SELLECK thinks he's a movie star, huh?

After years of trying (in movies like "High Road to China" and "Lassiter"), he teamed up with Ted Danson and Steve Guttenberg in "Three Men and a Baby" and had a monster hit. So now he thinks he's entered Gable and Redford country.

Fat chance.

One good look at his newest movie "Her Alibi" and the world is going to put him right back into the back seat of cloudland celebritihood. The best -- and perhaps only -- way to enjoy the film at all is to be both female and a bit ga-ga over Tom Selleck. If you're neither of those (or only one), "Her Alibi" will seem dreadfully lame.

Heaven only knows why he made this leadenly whimsical "comedy" about a blocked mystery writer who falls in love with a Rumanian murder suspect, but it's got to be among the worst decisions he ever made. Gorgeous international model Paulina Porizkova (who was in "Anna") plays the murder suspect and she's the only one in this movie who comes off at all well.

The truest line of dialogue in the movie comes at the point where Selleck, out of the blue, announces that he'll be the murder suspect's alibi.

"Why are you doing this?" she asks.

"I don't know" he answers.

Words to remember.

I spent most of the movie musing to myself and trying to define just how bad a movie it is. I came to this conclusion: it really wasn't even good enough to be a TV movie. Certainly not in Sweeps Weeks. The most mediocre episode of "Magnum, P. I." was better (the best episodes of shows like "Moonlighting" and "L.A. Law" make movies like this look like the embarrassments they really are).

I counted. It has a grand total of four genuinely funny moments, most of which are shown for free in the TV commercial. Two are raw and not very inspired slapstick: Selleck accidentally on the hood of his station wagon smashed against the windshield and Selleck howling around with an arrow stuck in his rump. And two are black humor: a lineup of well-bred dinner guests retching up a poisoned dinner on the porch of a suburban manse and the discovery of a dead cat, apparently a victim of the same dinner.

To know how timidly and perfunctorily it was directed by Bruce Beresford, you have only to know that, despite the rich potential, he makes almost nothing of the latter (don't get me wrong here. I've been a cat owner and fancier for 20 years. Still. . . )

That the film was directed by Bruce Beresford, of "Crimes of the Heart" and "Tender Mercies" fame, shouldn't overly impress anyone. He's also the fellow who directed the fiendishly terrible "King David" (in which Richard Gere's "dance" on entering Jeruselam provided one of the most unintentionally hilarious moments in '80s movies).

Rated PG in the Holiday, Market Arcade, Seneca, Summit, and University Theaters.

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