For Love Or Money

For Love Or Money, Universal Pictures 1993

Before watching the movie:

Several years ago, I was introduced by complete accident to the Back to the Future trilogy, and through that to Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd. At that age, I’d get excited about a new actor and watch a bunch of movies they starred in.

In Fox’s case, Family Ties reruns were being broadcast in my town, and his autobiography Lucky Man had just been released, so he left a little more impression on me than most of the actors I sampled in that phase. Yet only one of the several movies I saw is included with the Michael J. Fox comedy favorites collection, which I found while browsing my local library.

That fact gives me a little hope for this movie, since quite frankly it’s the least interesting-looking one in the collection, but if it won over Life With Mikey, it can’t be too terrible.

What’s it even about? Find out in the main article.

During/after the movie:

Michael J. Fox is Doug Ireland, the best concierge at the Bradbury Hotel. But he wants to be the owner of the best hotel in New York. He’s made enough in tips to buy the land to build it on, but needs Christian Hanover’s venture capital to get the building financed. Hanover is in an affair with Andy Hart, the girl Doug has been chasing unsuccessfully for years. Christian needs someone to “handle” Andy in order to keep his wife from finding out, and Doug the master concierge is not in a position to refuse any requests. But while juggling Christian and Andy and his job, the IRS is dogging him in order to audit his unreported tip money. Doug has to choose between his dream hotel or the girl of his dreams, and we can all guess how that goes.

Fox’s performance presents great contrast, from the calculating, confident man behind the scenes of the hotel and the servant that can make whatever a guest needs reality, to the underling buffeted by circumstance and the vulnerable underdog dreamer. This role plays to every one of his strengths. Don’t believe him in one role? Wait for the next scene.

As a film, this movie is engaging, fun, and forgettable. A perfect date movie. The romance is charming, the supporting characters are fun, and the end is both predictable and surprising all at once.

See this film: and have a fun, reaffirming, harmless evening.

Don’t see this film: if the dreams of hoteliers hold no interest for you.

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