stupider behavior, and it is unfair thatnwe are being so severely punished nownfor their old peccadillos. Without thencensorship then, their books wouldnhave been forgotten; without the morenrecent tizzy over the ratings (R? X? ornthe new NC-17), the film about themnwould not have been worth talkingnabout.nMartin Loader in Tune in Tomorrownwants to go to the imaginary andnideal Paris “of Hemingway and HenrynMiller,” but in this film, dreams andndelusions are not irrelevant. Indeed,nthe impressions we have from art andnculture and the way those impressionsnshape our lives become the subject ofnthe movie. It’s a funny, boisterous,nenergetic film with Peter Falk at thenvery top of his form as a kind of louchenembodiment of art. The dangerousnessnto which Henry Miller aspired,nFalk’s Pedro Carmichael actually managesnto suggest—he goes from onenradio station to another and seems tonleave them all literally in flames. He isnoutrageous, manipulative, exploitive,nshameless, and none too fastidious innhis toilette, but he is fervent in hisncommitment to his calling: “Life is ans—t-storm,” he says to his youngnfriend, Martin Loader, “and when it’snraining s—t, your best umbrella is art.”n”Mario Vargas Llosa” has beenntranslated to “Martin Loader,” asnLima has been translated to New Orleans.nThe film will be released innCanada and Europe under the novel’snname. Aunt Julia and the Screenwriter,nbut evidently nobody reads books innAmerica and the reference wasnthought to be obscure and an impediment.nStill, the connection betweennpublic, popular culture and privatenbehavior remains the subject of thenpiece. There are some plot difficultiesn— complications about getting marriednthat made sense in the novel, set innPeru, are totally mangled and incoherentnin the film. But one wants to benindulgent about an enterprise that is,nfor the most part, so genial and goodspirited.nBarbara Hershey allows herselfnto look just a bit dowdy as thenolder, somewhat shopworn aunt withnwhom young Martin falls hopelessly innlove. Keanu Reeves is just right as theningenuous youth whose callow passionnshe finds, in the end, irresistible. Therenare also some shrewd and rueful ideasnbubbling in the background, and thatnthese ideas do not cripple the fun ofnthe film seems to me altogether agreeable.nLoader/Llosa actually did go off tonParis, seduced as much by the Millernmyth as by his “aunt” (actually hisnuncle’s sister-in-law) and, just as she sonruefully warns both in both the novelnand the movie, he finally abandonednher for a younger woman — also, as itnhappens, a relative. Whether Mario/nMartin was more victimizer or victim isnhard to say, but my inclination always isnto be indulgent to those who are entertaining.nCuriously enough, there are also ancouple of short sequences in this filmnin which we see Peter Falk typing —nbut in the first, at the very opening ofnthe film, there is a bomb about to gonoff, and we know about it and havenseen the ticking suitcase. There is, innfact, a point to the scene, an antiphonynthat is not merely between the tappingnof the keys of the old manual typewriternand the ticking of the bomb’s timer,nbut the larger one of the world of artnand the real wodd, each of themnanswering the disorders of the othernand each of them seething with hatredsnand loves. (The second is only a fewnframes to set up for the real gesture,nwhich is that of Falk dropping forward,nexhausted by his labors, onto the typewriter,nand the script, utterly spent andnutterly believable.)nTune in Tomorrow addresses thensame curious questions and with somethingnof the same playfulness as NikitanMikhalkov’s truly splendid A Slave ofnLove (1978), about the Russian Revolutionnthat, as it made its way down tonthe Crimea, took on the extravagant,nalmost cartoon style of the silent moviesnthe Russian film industry was thenngrinding out there. The Mikhalkovnpiece (available on videotape) isn’tnmerely witty but profound and evennfrightening, and there is a kind ofnballast to the film in that real peoplenwere dying, albeit in a stylized way.nThe violences of Tune in Tomorrownare not so convincing as they mightnhave been, had the moviemakers keptnthe Peruvian setting intact. SouthnAmerican politics is a continuing comedynof blood, after all. The anti-Boliviannjokes of the novel are turned intonaltogether arbitrary hatreds here, firstnof Alaskans, then Albanians, and then,nindicated at the end, of Norwegians.nnnBut the conviction of the scriptwriternhas been explicitly stated — “Hatenburns, like love!” — and it is notnenough to have whimsically conceivednhatreds of “safe” exotic groups. Thisnfilm avoids messiness and risk and evenncongratulates itself for its harmlessness.n”But why Albanians?” Loader asks,nand Carmichael looks at him and asks,n”Why not?” It’s okay for the momentnbut won’t stand. It is like Hemingway’sntaking out all the pinko stuff from FornWhom the Bell Tolls, leaving as thenonly explanation of the hero’s allegiancenthe joke about his family alwaysnhaving been Republicans.nReversal of Fortune does take somenreal risks and show some real hatred —nand it suggests a level of corruption andnmenace that is positively invigorating.nJeremy Irons as Claus von Biilow isngrandly wicked and beautifully dressedn(indeed, the costumes seem after anwhile the necessary attire of evil).nGlenn Close is Sunny and is as rivetingnas any character in a vegetative statenhas ever been on film. There is a scenenin this movie in which Sunny is beingnbathed by a couple of nurses who arenwashing her thighs — she has becomenan object, as indeed she probably alwaysnwas to Claus. But then thesenpeople had a ruthlessness that turnsnpeople into objects, worth space onnlife’s etagere or not. The movie suggestsnthat the Kantian idea that everynperson is an end in himself is turnednarsy-varsy by such absurd degrees ofnwealth.nProbably, this is unfair. The openingnsequence is a breathtaking aerial viewnof Newport “cottages,” and few of thenfamilies in the other houses have madenheadlines bumping one another off.nStill, whether it is objectively true ornnot, the mythology is clear that moneynin large quantities has some corrosiveneffect on the spirit. The movie takesnthis to a logical conclusion in whichneveryone becomes a means, a thingnthat is either attractive or not, entertainingnand decorative or not. Thengood taste turns ruthless and oppressivenand becomes — in a startling reversal ofnthe old Calvinist idea — an outwardnsign of an inward state of gracelessness.nThere is no answer to the questionnof Von Billow’s guilt or innocence,nalthough in one sequence we get anplausible guess as to what is likely tonhave happened — that Claus tried tonFEBRUARY 1991/47n