Illegally Yours (1988)

Illegally Yours (1988)

Taglines: What’s a little blackmail, burglary, perjury and murder amongst friends?

Rob Lowe stars in this screwball comedy as Richard Dice, the college dropout who comes back home to St. Augustine, Florida to get his act together. He is selected for jury duty and falls for the defendant Molly Gilbert (Colleen Camp), a young woman he later recognizes as his grade-school sweetheart.

Richard tries to gather the evidence that will lead to her acquittal. He is not alone in his pursuit of an elusive audiotape that recorded the murder for which Molly is on trial. Jessica James plays Richard’s mother, who is courted by Freddie Boneflecker (Rick Jason). Johnny Cash sings some tunes co-written with director Peter Bogdanovich.

Illegally Yours (1988)

Peter Bogdanovich gets back to his favourite pastime of taking affectionate pokes around Hollywood’s tied and tested conventions: in this case, the screwball rom-com. Colleen Camp fulfils the Katharine Hepburn role, whilst Rob Lowe does his best to fill the sizeable boots of Gary Grant, but Illegally Yours never lives up to its promise, falling way short of the comic standards of old and never threatening to subvert the genre. It’s sprightly enough, with twists aplenty, but from the man who brought us The Last Picture Show and What’s Up Doc, we were expecting a much wilder animal than this tame paw at the screwball comedy.

Illegally Yours is a 1988 American comedy film set in St. Augustine, Florida where a series of comic mishaps take place involving a blackmailer, a corpse, an incriminating audiotape, an innocent woman who accidentally picks up the tape, and a pair of teenage blackmail victims. The film was directed by Peter Bogdanovich with Rob Lowe starring as Richard Dice, the college dropout who came back home to get his act together. The film’s theme song was performed by Johnny Cash.

The film was a critical and commercial failure. Bogdanovich himself considers this movie one of his worst. In an interview, he stated, “I’m not positive, but it just might be my penance for getting on the bad side of all those studio execs while shooting Mask, three years earlier.”

Illegally Yours Movie Poster (1988)

Illegally Yours (1988)

Directed by: Peter Bogdanovich
Starring: Rob Lowe, Colleen Camp, Kenneth Mars, Kim Myers, Marshall Colt, George Morfogen, Linda MacEwen, Rick Jason, Jessica James, Louise Stratten, Ira Heiden
Screenplay by: Max Dickens, Michael Kaplan
Production Design by: Jane Musky
Cinematography by: Dante Spinotti
Film Editing by: Rick Fields, Ronald Krehel
Set Decoration by: Robert Kracik
Art Direction by: Harold Thrasher
Music by: Phil Marshall
Distributed by: United Artists (USA & Canada), De Laurentiis Entertainment Group (International)
Release Date: May 13, 1988