Directed by Daniel Algrant, starring Al Pacino, Kim Basinger, Tea Leoni and Ryan O'Neal.

For Eli Wurman (Pacino) time is running out. He's the last old school publicist in New York and has only got one big client left; he's fed up with all the hustles and, after years of abuse, his health is raising the white flag. Eli's meal ticket is Cary Launer (O'Neal), a Hollywood star who is also the ball and chain on the life that Eli wants to escape. But not quite yet. Launer's latest conquest (Leoni) is locked up in a Manhattan jail and at 2.30 in the morning, Eli has to go and get her out. But what starts out as another routine pampering job ends with Eli waking up dazed in a hotel room and finding her body on the bed.

Finished before 11 September and then dragged through delays and re-edits afterwards, 'People I Know' did nothing in the US and if Pacino's name wasn't attached its only slot would be small hours TV. There was the potential for three good films in this plot: one about a drug addled PR man, another about a potential romance with his brother's widow (Basinger) and a third about murder and corruption. Instead it's a jumble of ideas that needed to be twice as tight to have any impact. Messing up a film that involves fame, sex and scandal can't be easy - doing it with two Oscar winners on board must be an even taller order. For Basinger it's a nothing role while Pacino's turn as a man who finds out how corrosive celebrity is deserved a much better script.

Even Eli Wurman's powers with the black art of spin couldn't talk up this one.

Harry Guerin