Saturday, April 24, 2004
Some actors strive for greatness. Others settle for oddness. David Arquette ("Eight-Legged Freaks") continues to cut a quirky career path with the affably offbeat cable original "Stealing Sinatra" (7 p.m. Sunday, Showtime). Based on real events, "Stealing" chronicles the 1963 kidnapping of Frank Sinatra Jr. (Thomas Ian Nicholas) by a trio of bumblers.
Arquette brings an uncomfortable intensity to his role as Barry Keenan, a star-struck schemer still obsessed with high school acquaintances Nancy Sinatra and Jan Berry (Michael Coristine) of Jan & Dean fame. Keenan hatches a scheme to snatch Sinatra's son, invest the ransom money and some day run for Senate.
The always-capable William H. Macy all but steals "Sinatra" as John Irwin, the drunken ex-boyfriend of Barry's miserable mother. The team's voice of reason, Irwin is forever dispensing wise advice even while following Barry's cracked game plan. He has the film's best scenes as he bonds with the kidnapped Sinatra, advising him to be his own man and not vanish in his famous father's shadow. James Russo has a blast as the foul-mouthed Sinatra Sr., and Ryan Browning plays Joe, a failed fisherman and all-around dimwit who rounds out Barry's hapless team.
Like Steven Speilberg's "Catch Me If You Can," this feature has great affection for early '60s period details. But "Sinatra" lacks the zippy pacing and loopy grace of that superior effort. Like Barry's dumb conspiracy, it seems to proceed in fits and starts, occasionally slowing to a crawl. But at least that gives you a chance to admire those plastic slipcovers, swanky hotel lobbies and chrome-laden Impalas and T-birds.
- Hogwarts needs Harry's help in the 2002 sequel "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" (5:30 p.m., HBO).
- Retired astronauts (Clint Eastwood, Tommy Lee Jones and Donald Sutherland) save the day in the 2000 drama "Space Cowboys" (7 p.m. NBC).
- A high school student becomes a rock journalist in director Cameron Crowe's autobiographical 2000 drama "Almost Famous" (7 p.m., ABC), starring Billy Crudup, Frances McDormand and Kate Hudson. Like I almost care.
- Christina Aguilera is host of a repeat "Saturday Night Live" (10:30 p.m., NBC), featuring musical guests Maroon 5.
Sunday's other highlights
- Scheduled on "60 Minutes" (6 p.m., CBS): an interview with Saddam Hussein's attorney; sports entrepreneur Mark Cuban; a South African rebel turned tycoon.
- Posh teens prepare for their coming-out rituals in the documentary "Debutantes" (7 p.m., A&E;).
- A house is awarded on the finale of "Trading Spaces: Home Free" (7 p.m., TLC).
- An ambitious small-town singer dreams big in the 2004 drama "Brave New Girl" (7 p.m., ABC Family). Based on a book by Britney Spears and her mother, Lynne Spears.
- Maeby's ethics lesson goes awry on the season finale of "Arrested Development" (8:30 p.m., Fox).