Worth Winning

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Worth Winning
Worth Winning.jpg
Movie Poster
Directed by Will Mackenzie
Produced by Wendy Dozoretz
Gil Friesen
Tom Joyner
Neil Koenigsberg
Dale Pollock
Screenplay by Josann McGibbon
Sara Parriott
Based on Worth Winning by Dan Lewandowski
Starring Mark Harmon
Madeleine Stowe
Lesley Ann Warren
Music by Patrick Williams
Cinematography Adam Greenberg
Edited by Sidney Wolinsky
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date(s) 27 October 1989 (USA)
Running time 103 min.
Country United States
Language English
Box office $3,690,400 (USA)

Worth Winning is a 1989 film starring Mark Harmon, Madeleine Stowe and Lesley Ann Warren, directed by Will Mackenzie. It was written by Josann McGibbon and Sara Parriott, based on the novel by Dan Lewandowski.

Plot[edit]

Taylor Worth is a devastatingly handsome and charming weatherman for a Philadelphia television station. A confirmed bachelor, he sees a lot of women and gains the envy of his closest friends.

One of them, Ned Broudy, offers Taylor a wager, that he cannot get three randomly chosen women to fall in love with him over a three-month period of time and accept a proposal of marriage.

Taylor takes the bet, putting up his weekend cabin against a valuable painting that Ned and Clair Broudy own.

Clair knows nothing of the bet, so she is pleased when her husband fixes up Taylor with her friend Veronica Briskow, a concert pianist. Ned is sure that the haughty Veronica will have nothing in common with a shallow TV weatherman, but Taylor does find a way to attract her interest.

The remaining two women Taylor must persuade to fall in love with him are Erin Cooper, a sexy Philadelphia Eagles receptionist, and Eleanor Larimore, an attractive older woman. The choice of Eleanor is a dirty trick on Ned's part, inasmuch as she is already married.

Eager to teach Ned a lesson, Taylor quickly seduces Erin, then proposes marriage to her in front of a hidden TV camera. This causes jealousy in her protective friend Tarry Childs, who plays for the football team, but he wants Erin to be happy. And although Taylor doesn't have many scruples, he refuses to sleep with Erin after learning she is still a virgin.

His next mission is Eleanor. It turns out she is unsatisfied at home and a willing participant when Taylor flirts with her while posing as a shoe salesman, engaging him in dangerous sex in public places. She, too, accepts Taylor's secretly filmed marriage proposal -- two down and one to go.

Veronica won't be easy. She is career-minded and not eager for marriage. Plus the sex between her and Taylor is surprisingly disappointing so far.

The more time they spend together, though, Taylor realizes he doesn't want to lose Veronica after the wager is won. He proposes at his cabin and she accepts. Clair is delighted, Ned devastated.

Then the real trouble begins. Taylor first needs to break it off with Erin, disappointing her desire to start a family, which he does by pretending to be impotent. Eleanor, alas, is enjoying her improved sex life and brags about it openly to Clair and Veronica.

It becomes clear that three women are seeing the same man. Taylor is dumped by his fiancees. Erin finds solace in the arms of her football player while Eleanor takes pleasure in Taylor's humiliation at being exposed for what he really is, but Veronica is genuinely heartbroken.

A broken man, Taylor tells his friend Ned to forget the bet. As a grand gesture, he makes a public apology to Veronica at a benefit auction in a giant hall, expressing his love and his desire to be with her for everybody to hear.

Principal cast[edit]

Actor Role
Mark Harmon Taylor Worth
Madeleine Stowe Veronica Briskow
Lesley Ann Warren Eleanor Larimore
Andrea Martin Clair Broudy
Tony Longo Tarry Childs
Maria Holvöe Erin Cooper
Mark Blum Ned Broudy
David Brenner Charity Ball Auctioneer

Critical reception[edit]

Janet Maslin of The New York Times does not write negatively about the acting but closes her review with the following about the direction and writing:

The screenplay, by Josann McGibbon and Sara Parriott, is sometimes a shade funnier than Will Mackenzie's direction, which is phenomenally flat. Mr. Mackenzie's idea of wit is to load the film with carrots, cigars and many other phallic objects, most of which get clipped or chopped. If Freud were here, he'd sue.[1]

References[edit]

External links[edit]