..."Frankly, Al Pacino is miscast as a devoted
family man. Ivan Trevalian is a Jack Lemmon or Woody Allen role, and both would have been better in the part.
One senses that Pacino can be very funny personally, but he hasn't that required 'light touch' on camera. His Trevalian
always seems as if he's on the edge of violence. Pacino can be great at broad comedy (to which Dick Tracy would
later attest) and be awfully amusing in certain roles (Scarecrow; Dog Day Afernoon) that have humor written into
them, but he's no Cary Grant. Besides, who really wants to see 'Michael Corleone' bouncing little kids on his knee?
"This is not to say that Pacino's performance is bad; it
is just not a real Pacino role. His acting is often first-rate, such as in a scene during opening-night intermission
when Ivan confesses his fears about the play, the future that nobody else may want "Gloria's kids," to his son, Igor.
'The only thing I fear, Igor tells him, is that I inherited your nose."' Pacino is very vulnerable-he seems the boy,
and wise Igor, the father, soothing the 'boy's' fears. It is a warmly human scene in a movie that has to few of them.
Young Eric Gurry, as Igor, plays up to Pacino every step of the way...."
Excerpts from "The Films of Al Pacino" By William Schoell, Published
by Carol Publishing Group, 1995.
"Pacino laughs. Furthermore, Pacino parents, if that's
the word for it. In Author!, Author!, Al Pacino plays a Broadway playwright with one wayward wife, one glamorous
girlfriend and five loving, devoted, good-natured children, only one of whom is his own. Isreael Horovitz's screenplay
is about Ivan Travalian, who loves, struggles, suffers and still never loses his sense of humor.
"Is this a role for Mr. Pacino, an actor not known for his warmly
funny manner? It may not sound like one, but he is by no means wrong for the role. He handles it appealingly and
comfortably, even when forced to tell one child that he is eating 'like a veritable raccoon.'" Mr. Pacino can't say
that easily, but then he needn't have been expected to...."
"Mr. Hiller makes this warm, friendly and sometimes cute, but
he doesn't make it move very quickly. And he doesn't hold it together. The movie's attention is divided between
the story of Travalian's work and that of his family, finally paying much more attention to the family. But the movie
is virtually over before the audience is given a chance to figure out where it is going, which is toward a one-happy-family
resolution, 1980's style. Today's happy family - if the movie is to be believed - can be as warm and loving as the old-fashioned
kind, even if the kids aren't one another's blood relatives and the parents aren't exactly around...."
Excerpts from, Pacino in 'Author! Author! by Janet Maslin for the
New York Times, Published June 18, 1982.
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