Not even remotely corny like one would expect of a 1980s romanticcomedy, this fierce, libidinous entertainment stars Jeff Daniels asCharlie, an externally button-down banker whose mojo is readilyfluttered by audacity in women, and Melanie Griffith as Lulu, analcoholic sex machine with an amply fertile mind. Daniels plays some ofthe same notes here that he used in Terms of Endearment, where he wasthe firm, competent, straitlaced husband and father who liked to haverelations with perky coeds. He looks like he was born to wear a suitand a tie, but he has that insubordinate glint in the right light.Griffith's performance is founded not so much on sexual excitement ason nerve: She is able to persuade us, and Daniels, that she is likelyto do almost anything, particularly if she thinks it might shock him.<br><br>Even while they're standing on the sidewalk in front of that restaurantand she's making like she's charging him with theft, there's a sparkbetween them. The casting is critical in a movie like this. There hasto be some kind of brutish cohesion between the man and the woman or itdoesn't make any difference how sharp the dialogue is. Once they'vemade their connection, Daniels freely goes along for the ride. Afterawhile she even takes his handcuffs off, although he sort of liked theidea of having lunch in a restaurant with the cuffs dangling from oneof his wrists.<br><br>They drive down the East Coast from New York to Tallahasee, while shesteals money from cash registers and he capsizes into the consciousdaydream of the sensually exhausted. At Griffith's high school reunion,Daniels runs into the last person he wants to see, the accountant fromhis office. And Griffith runs into the last person she wants to see,her husband, Ray Liotta. I will stop here. The uncertainty of thetension must not be ruined.<br><br>If Demme and screenwriter E. Max Frye had developed this movie as amadcap comedy, it most likely wouldn't have worked as well. Their featis to think their characters through before the very first scene. Theyknow all about Charlie and Lulu, and so what happens after theconfrontation outside that restaurant is virtually inescapable,cnsidering who they are and how they look at each other. This is one ofthose few movies where the story acts shocked by what the charactersdo, and not the other way around.