Born Yesterday

MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +2 1/2

Content: -1

Wealthy Chicago businessman Harry Brock (John Goodman) arrives in Washington with his mistress, Billie Dawn (Melanie Griffith), a former Las Vegas showgirl. He hopes to convince senators that a military base near his new construction project should be saved. Billie's lack of formal schooling becomes quite an embarrassment to Harry when she accompanies him to Washington parties. Harry hires Paul Verrall (Don Johnson), a newspaper reporter, to tutor Billie. Paul coaches Billie to fake her way through conversations with the Washington elite. As she progresses, Billie realizes there's more to life than being "kept." Also, she and Paul are falling in love. Billie discovers Harry is illegally bribing the senators and that his assets are in her name to dodge tax liability. BORN YESTERDAY is a light romantic comedy, a remake of the 1950 version starring Judy Holliday, whose portrayal of Billie won her an Academy Award. Ms. Griffith does an excellent job with the difficult role, but the supporting cast is somewhat vague. While pleasant, there's no real spark or style to it.

Although it's obvious that Billie and Harry's relationship is adulterous, there are no sex scenes. However, Billie dresses in very tight, low-cut dresses. Paul spurns Billie's sexual advances, more out of fear of Harry than moral concern. Billie's goal to become better educated and self-sufficient is admirable. Also, the original film's "traditional" themes of doing the right thing, having clear-cut boundaries between right and wrong, and the ultimate goal of romance is marriage remain amazingly intact. However, a 90's dose of objectionable language, including the s-word twice, six regular profanities and several mild crudities and sexual innuendos are included. Harry strikes Billie in the face with his hand, then slaps her to the floor. This violence does not go unpunished, as Billie foils Harry's corrupt plans and free herself from him. Despite its noble lineage and commendable restraint in some areas, the obscenities and profanities jaundices any wholehearted recommendation of BORN YESTERDAY.

Preview Reviewer: Pete Zimowski
Buena Vista Distribution, 500 S. Buena Vista St., Burbank, CA 91521

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Several (7) times - Mild

Obscene Language: Several (5) times (s-word 2; slang for intercourse 1; other 2)

Profanity: Many (11) times - Regular 6 (JC 5); Exclamatory 5

Violence: Moderate - Twice (woman slapped in face and knocked to the floor)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Billie dresses in tight fitting, low-cut dresses; expresses attraction for Paul using slang)

Drugs: Social drinking

Other: None

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