Sea of Love

January 2, 2012 - Al Pacino and Ellen Barkin get hot and heavy in this film from 1989. John Goodman co-stars, with John Spencer and William Hickey having smaller roles. Harold Becker (Taps, Vision Quest) directs.

Pacino plays NYPD Det. Frank Keller. He's been on the job long enough to retire, but doesn't know what he'd do with himself if he did. When a series of murders is tied to rhyming ads placed in a singles' magazine, Keller teams up with another detective (Goodman) to catch the killer.

Working on the theory that the killer is a woman, the detectives place an ad in the magazine, set up dates with the women who respond, and try to get their prints on wine glasses. One of those women is single mom Helen Cruger (Barkin). She cuts out before Keller can get her prints, but he runs into her later and the two embark on a steamy affair. It's not exactly police procedure, and Keller risks making himself the killer's next target.

Overall review: *** The plot here is serviceable, but its the chemistry between Pacino and Barkin that makes this film go. While the film builds suspense, there's also some humor to lighten the mood. On the down side, the saxophone music, while not pervasive, still seemed overdone, not to mention the repetition of the title song.