THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT Copyright (c) 1996, Landmark Communications, Inc. DATE: Monday, June 3, 1996 TAG: 9606010045 SECTION: DAILY BREAK PAGE: E5 EDITION: FINAL TYPE: Movie Review SOURCE: BY MAL VINCENT, MOVIE CRITIC LENGTH: 51 lines
IS A GIRL named Eddie any kin to a boy named Sue? Actually Eddie is embodied by a comedian named Whoopi.
Madame Whoop (as her friend Robin Williams calls her) has to bear the comic possibilities in ``Eddie'' virtually alone. In spite of this cliched sports plot, Whoopi Goldberg's ironic and sassy presence does much to make the film palatable.
She plays Edwina, the world's loudest and most avid New York Knicks fan. She's the kind of fan who talks back to television sets, screaming things like ``Why don't you listen to me?'' to the players.
In a freak free-throw competition she becomes the coach of her idols. They've lost 19 games in a row but Whoop, spurred by a Mary Worth kind of busybody style, talks them into the championship game. When they get too egotistical, she pulls her trump card - she telephones their mamas and rats on them.
It's more cornball than basketball, leading up to that final shot that is so predictable you can almost hear the ``whoosh'' while you're reading this.
``Eddie,'' which is not to be confused with ``Ed,'' the baseball-chimpanzee movie, proves that we don't really need another basketball movie right now. Even at that, Whoopi's personality makes it better than either ``Celtic Pride'' (in which fans were pictured as psychotic kidnappers) or ``Sunset Park'' (in which Rhea Perlman had the identical role of an unlikely hoop coach).
Frank Langella, who has become Whoopi's boyfriend in real life, is cast as the gung-ho, showy team owner. He's a guy who thinks stunts can sell as many tickets as basketball playing.
NBA players Malik Sealy and Dwayne Schintzius get little chance to act, which is probably all to the good. Donald Trump and two New York mayors have guest shots. A Charlotte, N.C., coliseum doubled for Madison Square Garden, with several local actors in the crowd scene.
Even with many fouls, Whoopi's film still is entertaining. ILLUSTRATION: Graphic
Cast: Whoopi Goldberg, Frank Langella, Dennis Farina
MPAA rating: PG-13 (one dirty word, no sex, no nudity)
Mal's rating: 2 stars
Locations: Cinemark, Greenbrier 13, Chesapeake; Circle 4, Main
Gate, Norfolk; Kemps River Crossing, Lynnhaven 8, Pembroke,
Surf-n-Sand, Virginia Beach by CNB