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A 1989 romantic comedy film starring Tom Selleck as Phillip Blackwood, a writer of detective novels. After a 4-year bout of writer's block, Blackwood is desperately seeking new material at the local courtrooms. There he encounters Nina, an enchanting young woman accused of murder. Inspired by her and believing her to be innocent, he offers to provide her with an alibi.
As he spends time with her, however, he's forced to question if she truly is innocent and if he may be next on her list.
- The Ace: How Blackwood wrote Swift to be.
- Amazingly Embarrassing Parents / Dysfunctional Family: Blackwood's.
- Annoying Arrows: Blackwood is shot in the ass by Nina. Although treated more seriously than some fiction, it's more of an Amusing Injury than anything and he's fully recovered the next day.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Done in writing form.
"Swift's mastery of Tai Kwon Do, Akido, boxing, and macrame had him in good stead."
- Cowboy Cop: Frank Polito.
- Deadpan Snarker: Blackwood.
- Deconstructive Parody: Of Mary Sue pulp fiction heroes.
- Defector From Commie Land: Nina and her family.
- Development Hell: Blackwood's novel at movie open.
- Drives Like Crazy: Nina.
Blackwood: I though you said you drove in Romania!?
Nina: This is how we drive in Romania!
- Ethnic Menial Labor: Consuela, Blackwood's occasional maid.
- Exact Eavesdropping: Blackwood not only catches the important part of Nina's phone call, but chooses to look up the one word that helps him crack the mystery, "funeral."
- Her Codename Was Mary Sue: Blackwood's fictional detective Peter Swift.
- I Read It for the Articles: The KGB agent, when caught photographing Blackwood's Playboys, says "Good interview!" to cover.
- Innocent Innuendo: When shot in the ass by a bow while talking to Detective Polito, who mistakes his moans and cries "not to touch the shaft" as, shall we say, passion.
- The Klutz: Blackwood.
- KGB: In all their Eighties glory.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The end shows Phillip's book is the name of the movie, and a major motion picture starring the film's actors.
- Mistaken for Murderer
- Monster Clown: Blackwood's nightmare about Nina.
- My Hovercraft Is Full of Eels: Blackwood's grasp of Romanian is a bit tenuous.
Nina: You just said your mother is an octopus.
- Nina has a couple of issues with English, like when she describes a man who was punished by being hanged upside down by his tentacles.
- Parody Sue
- Plagiarism: Blackwood accuses a rival author of this. His editor also advices he do this to get an ending rather than continue the risky business with Nina.
- Stab The Cockroach: Nina throws a knife with perfect accuracy and impales a giant insect. This is the audience's (and Blackwood's) first hint that she may not be innocent. And revisited at the end.
- Unreliable Voiceover: A variation. Blackwood's novel as inspired by the events is voiced over the action.