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  • Skin Deep starts off to a soulful, bluesy song called "falling out of love" (lyrically quite fitting for the main character), and we see a woman walking into a house. The house belongs to Zach Hutton, and the woman, we assume, is Zach's wife. She catches him fooling around with a young blonde and grabs Zach's revolver. The scene that follows is hilarious; the music has stopped and we're thrust into a tense but funny moment. As it turns out, this woman is not Zach's wife, but his mistress, and she is ready to kill him until his wife walks in. They introduce themselves and share their disappointment in Zach. At this point, I needed to take a very deep breath to brace myself, because it was very obvious that this guy has issues and this movie was going to be full of hilariously painful situations for our hero. It was no big surprise that within the next few scenes he's sobbing in a psychiatrist's office.

    This is a comedy that has an exaggerated sense of being true to life. It is somewhat serious, Zach is a tortured soul, but he's mostly casually tortured and takes his abuse with humour, which makes it okay for us to laugh. He's a washed up writer, his wife has left him with a settlement that was not exactly fair to his side, and he can't get over his obsession with picking up women. He's addicted. This is one pathetic man. He endures some of the most hilarious situations ever committed to film (I won't even bother mentioning the glow-in-the-ark condom sequence, but yes, it is hysterical). He also endures genuine sadness in his life, and that makes him more human than just a simple comic sketch, and makes this such a great movie.

    The ending wraps things up a little too easily, but what the hell? Comedies usually have happy endings. The ending was satisfactory, but the movie in general was above average. John Ritter was a master at perfecting both drama and comedy, which is what was needed for this role. He did an amazing job, and I feel it's his finest performance, displaying his genuine charm as a comedic actor, as well as the possibly even more intriguing serious side of a conflicted, lost man. I love this movie.

    My rating: 10/10
  • This film from Blake Edwards has one of the all-time funniest sequences in it that has even been filmed, and no I'm not talking about the much bally-hoo'd "dueling glow-in-the-dark-condoms" scene.

    The post-spa sequence with a spastic John Ritter never fails to put me in grave danger of a major asthmatic attack. It is brilliant physical comedy. See it for that alone… or for the pruriently curious, to see what the Amazonian "Zap" from that strange syndicated physical challenges show of several years back, looks like with her clothes off!

    It may not be Edwards' best effort, but it's no where near as dreadful as others here have suggested.
  • Skin Deep is a very funny film that many people have never heard of. One scene in particular, must be one of the most hilarious ever caught on film. While some of the social views have become dated, If the viewer remembers that the film was created in the late 80's, It is quite enjoyable. Upon John Ritter's untimely passing, I got it out and watched it all over again and was still entertained!
  • John Ritter plays a familiar Blake Edward's character who is at the same time a pathetic but intelligent man who is losing everything to his vices. In this case, Zach is a successful author who is hitting rock bottom due to alcoholism and his non-stop womanizing. John Ritter's physical comedy is hilarious yet he portrays this pathetic character with great sensitivity. You watch as this man slowly and painfully spirals down and the women who try to help redeem him slowly get dragged down with him. But Edwards is a master at allowing us to laugh-out-loud at his slow and quiet self destruction. Who will ever forget the....glow-in-the-dark duel? or the body builder? or how about the morning after in the guest room? The slow ride to rock bottom made his redemption all the more sweet. I was pleasantly surprised at how "deep" this movie truly is. If you are looking for the slapstick of pure Clouseau, this is not your movie. I suspect most of those who disliked this movie were seeking that exact Blake Edwards formula comedy. However, he surprised us all with the kind of depth that belies the title.
  • "Skin Deep" was marketed incorrectly. Fox marketed this as a raunchy comedy. It is more of a companion piece to "10" rather than "S.O.B." in that it is fairly serious as well.

    But this isn't all drama. "Skin Deep" is not only one of Blake Edwards' very best films, it is probably his most successful combination of comedy and drama to date. Edwards wants to have it both ways and it succeeds.

    The film stars John Ritter as Zach Hutton, a one-time famous, best selling author who has stumbled. He is quick to blame it on writer's block, but he has other problems. He drinks excessively. He womanizes even more excessively. His wife has left him after finding him in bed with his mistress' hairdresser. (No, I'm not spoiling the film for you; Edwards makes this all clear in the first 12 minutes) Hutton then sets out on a mission to get his life in order and gain his wife back.

    Right there, "Skin Deep" resembles another film, Paul Mazursky's great "Blume in Love". But Edwards takes some turns that Mazursky never even considered. Yeah, Zach wants his wife back, but does he want to change? The answer could be no, but I'm not saying yes either. As in his best films, Edwards never gives any easy answers to the questions he asks and he simply records an existence.

    I've made "Skin Deep" sound awfully serious. But I want to say that "Skin Deep" is one of the funniest Edwards films I've ever seen. There are sequences here that rival the best Panther films in terms of hilarity. The house fire. The glow-in-the dark condoms. The electrical therapy sequence. The tsunami warning. His sleepover at his best friends' house, but I can't list them all. I want you to discover some as well.

    A real surprise is John Ritter. Most people have written him off as Jack Tripper from his hit TV series "Three's Company", but he has developed into a fine actor with roles in "Sling Blade", "Unnatural Causes" and "Nowhere". Here, he finds the right tone for all of his scenes. He can go from comedy to drama and always be convincing. It's a brilliant performance and it was a real shame the Academy couldn't recognize it.

    "Skin Deep" marked a milestone for Blake Edwards. At the time of its' release, 1989 was his 50th year in show business. I've always been an admirer of his work and it gave me great pleasure to see that he still has it in him. It is also kind of sad that Edwards followed this masterpiece with the lackluster "Switch".But at least "Son of the Pink Panther" was a good cap to a great career.

    **** out of 4 stars
  • jblatt11 August 2006
    A favorite of mine. John Ritter was amazing in the role. His comedic timing was great. He displayed the most genuine emotions in this film.

    Of course the condom scene is an absolute classic. As well as when he is leaving the clinic after the shock therapy performed by his ex.

    But my favorite scenes are near the end. When he is with his shrink and talks about wanting to kill himself. The pain and confusion he displays was worthy of an Oscar in my opinion. A brief, but wonderfully powerful scene.

    John Ritter was always a favorite of mine. He seemed like the sweetest man you would ever want to meet. From what I have read about him, that was consensus from those who knew and worked with him.

    I have always loved movies about redemption. And this is a great one.

    I bet John is in Heaven right now, making people smile.
  • John Ritter makes Zach and the film memorable. It's more or less a one man show by him, though the character hardly has an element of heroism in it. He wonderfully transforms himself into Zach Hutton, a writer by profession with a weakness for drinks and women. He faces the fury of boyfriends of the women, and later, the revenge of the girls themselves, after they break up.

    The movie progresses with hilarious sequences, at times slap-stick. Be sure not to miss the dialogues, for there are many instances when humour makes its presence in the most unexpected of situations. Altogether non stop entertainment is warrantied..
  • I rented this video about a year ago & enjoyed this very much. John Ritter plays the character Zack with his trademark physical comedy in full form. Two scenes stand out for me. One is the drop-dead hilarious bit after the therapy session when he goes spastic; and yes, the other is the overrated (but still good) glow-in-the-dark condom fight scene. This is one of Blake Edwards' better films (certainly miles better than "10"). A good film for fans of John Ritter also, especially if all one knows of his acting is the sitcom "Three's Company".
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I was saddened to see this movie replayed on commercial TV. They have cut all of the funny out of it and made it a drama. I recommend getting your hands on a VHS copy of this movie and sitting down to enjoy yourself. It is classic John Ritter. Every time I watch this (I own the tape) I laugh so hard that I cry. I give it a 9 because it keeps you going. SPOILER: ( the dog superglued to the ceiling is one of the funniest things I have ever seen). This movie shows some of the best acting skills for some hardly seen actors. There was no possible way for them to make a follow-up movie- but the director/producer/writer/actors should have gotten together for another project. It would have been great.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    John Ritter is Zach Hutton, an alcoholic writer whose life is unraveling by the minute. Whether his "writer's block" was a result of his alcoholism or that he's taken to the bottle because of it is never firmly established with viewers. It's a moot point anyway as far as director/writer Blake Edwards is concerned. Alcohol has driven Zach "over the edge" and he's in big trouble. The fact that he's able to easily charm his way into one brief sexual encounter after another and get by with his obvious intelligence only compounds his problems. Yet his sexual escapades and disheveled lifestyle contribute to some of the most hilarious scenes ever filmed in a movie. The real funny thing, however, is that "Skin Deep" is actually a serious film posing as a standard Blake Edwards slapstick farce; its underlying theme is about the main character's desperate and dire situation. Zach is spiraling towards suicide even faster than he drives his sportscar. So why are we laughing?

    Others in the cast include Alyson Reed as Zach's estranged and exasperated wife Alexandra. She provides some gravitas to the film as does the great Nina Foch (Zach's not too happy mother-in-law). Zach has been a huge disappointment to both of them and it's written all over their faces. Julianne Phillips (Bruce Springsteen's first wife) has a nice role as one of Zach's almost serious relationships. The best secondary role is reserved for Michael Kidd as Zach's psychiatrist Doctor Westford. His simple but critical advice near the end of the movie saves our hero from complete disaster. "You know what I tell alcoholics when they want me to help them? I tell them to STOP DRINKING." At last, his terse words of wisdom have an immediate and "sobering" effect on Zach and the recovery of his life begins. "Skin Deep" plays like a combination of two of Edwards' very popular and earlier films, "The Days of Wine and Roses" and "Ten." One minute it's deadly serious and in the next it's a rip roaring comedy-of-errors. The balance is a delicate one and without the sure-handed direction of Blake Edwards, the movie would've fallen flat on its face. As it turned out, "Skin Deep" was nowhere near a hit at the box office. That's too bad because the film is one of the better ones in Blake Edwards' career and certainly could use a reappraisal. Also, John Ritter never gave a finer performance than he did in this movie. That fact alone should prompt interested viewers to find this film before it gets lost in the archives.
  • bluemond15 January 2004
    I loved this movie. the story was cheesy, but done well. the psychiatrist was hilarious. stockard channing was hilarious.

    there were glowing condoms for goodness sake. but most of all, John Ritter is phenomenal. The sequence after the shock therapy, is the funniest physical comedy scene I have ever seen on film.
  • Warning: Spoilers

    This movie really wasn't all that great. I have a healthy respect for it mainly because of my fondness for Mr. Ritter. Three's Company is my favorite all time comedy and It was nice to see "Jack" up on the big screen.

    I liked the premise of the movie but unfortunetly I will agree with many that the movie just didn't go anywhere, it did have a tendency to become lethargecially dragging to the point where although you love Ritter and the plot you lose all interest in seeing how it plays out.

    Now-that said-Normally I'd give a movie like that(not terrible but certainly forgettable) about a 5-I JUST CAN'T DO IT WITH THIS ONE THOUGH. And that's because of that one scene, that unforgettable scene that singelehandedly makes the film.

    I'm referring of coarse to the "glow in the dark" condom scene. The unexpected with that flows from this gem of a scene was Ritter at his best-he has to be one of the most brillient comedy actors around and that scene showed him doing what he does best-entertaining. Plus it's just REALLY funny.

    I'm picky about my comedies and what I fnd funny-this scene was hilarious-saw the mopvie in the theatre and this one scene had the whole movie theatre hysterical. So because of that I say the movie is worth seeing just because of that one scene. In fact if you are watching it and find yourself really bored(which you very well might) fastforward to the "glow in the dark" scene, watch it and laugh to your sides ache! One of the most unforgettable moments in movie comedy of all time.

    All in all the movie's about a 5 but like I said that one scene brings it up 1 or 2 points. An unusual review for a mediocre movie that makes itself unforgettable through a few minutes of screen time.
  • I can't understand why this film is not as popular as it deserves to be. I first saw this movie when i randomly picked it from my local video store in 1990. Since then, every person that i have recommended it to has loved it. Admittedly the plot is not particularly sophisticated (American male on a quest to bed as may women as he can), but the dialogue and Blake Edwards' trademark slapstick comedy (a la Pink Panther) are hysterical. If you have a sense of humour, see this movie. You'll be glad you did.
  • This is a very funny film that should appeal to people that have faced the lure of adultery, substance abuse or an approaching mid-life crisis. John Ritter is at his best as Zach, a married 42- year old that has trouble keeping his clothes on when around women other than his wife. The late Vincent Gardenia is terrific as the bartender. All of the women in this film, including the bodybuilder are beautiful. The tag line for this film is "the comedy that glows in the dark", which is an allusion to one of the funniest scenes that I have ever seen. Catch this film if you can as it is currently out of print. A highly underrated comedy!
  • This film is one of the most underrated, wittiest, well written comedies that it has been my pleasure to see. It uses self-deprecating humour and slapstick, to weave the amusing tale of a self-destructive alcoholic writer who stumbles his way to redemption. It is a style of humour that sadly, has fallen out of favour recently. Kudos to Blake Edwards! "There is a god! And he is a gag writer!"
  • John Ritter is in fine form as writer with writers block, a drinking problem, and at least a bunch of relationship problems. Ritter trying to change his character, even as his life is spiraling out of control, provides plenty of laughs. Vincent Gardenia plays a bartender, and John Ritter is his best customer. "Skin Deep" is at it's funniest when sharp dialog is being exchanged, and weakest when it resorts to slapstick. The movie is highly original, and maintains interest throughout. My only objection would be that some scenes go on a little too long. If you enjoy Blake Edward's comedies like the "Pink Panther" films, you will not be disappointed. - MERK
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I loved this movie. While not the most cerebral affair, it does a good job of "fleshing" out John Ritter's lead character. He is a man at wit's end, not able to write or compose, estranged from his wife and grown children, and flitting haplessly from girl to girl. Seriously, the man cannot "not get laid". Even when he swears off women, they fall for him right and left. Obviously an 'adults only' movie, with some nudity and adult language, the story is both worthwhile and entertaining. Ritter's character finds himself, solves his problems, and in the end "makes good". In the progress of the story, though, there are times you'll be lightheaded, wondering what's wrong, and you'll realize you've been laughing so hard that you can't breathe.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I was saddened to see this movie replayed on commercial TV. They have cut all of the funny out of it and made it a drama. I recommend getting your hands on a VHS copy of this movie and sitting down to enjoy yourself. It is classic John Ritter. Every time I watch this (I own the tape) I laugh so hard that I cry. I give it a 9 because it keeps you going. SPOILER: ( the dog superglued to the ceiling is one of the funniest things I have ever seen). This movie shows some of the best acting skills for some hardly seen actors. There was no possible way for them to make a follow-up movie- but the director/producer/writer/actors should have gotten together for another project. It would have been great.
  • This is not the most thought-provoking movie of all time, but it doesn't deserve the trash heap either. It's basically the story of a playboy out of control in a sophomoric way that would fit John Ritter to a 'T' in the Three's Company years. But his character Zach has far more substance than that; although that substance is to reach his goal to "screw" everything that moves. He's a playboy and he wants desperately to be on the up and up. But, he can't shake his "nature". Ritter plays the goof at his best and the performances of the supporting cast (Gardenia, Reed, Brooks, Donat) are perfect. Certain scenes beyond the popular glow-in-the-dark scene are priceless. This movie by Blake Edwards looks like "Citizen Kane" compared to "10".
  • "Skin Deep" is not a great comedy. It's a decent view that supplies some hits and misses. But there is one scene that is so uproariously funny that it makes the rest of the film watchable.

    John Ritter (likable as always) plays a writer on the down side. He has turned to booze, therapy, and women. LOTS of women. He has ruined his marriage with his countless flings. He loves his ex-wife still but he just can't seem to get the prowler out of his system. Ritter has a couple of extremely funny moments such as his arrival at a formal party he believed was a costume party and a fun bit after he has received a strange form of therapy that causes his body to spasm so much he can barely walk.

    But the scene to wait for is after he has finally gotten a woman to bed he has been chasing. She is involved with a rock star and insists Ritter use a condom. Not having any he borrows one of the rock star's. It happens to be a glow in the dark condom and the scene is shot in total darkness. It is uproarious to say the least. And that is BEFORE the rock star shows up wearing one of his own!! That scene alone is one of the funniest I have ever scene and makes "Skin Deep" worth watching.
  • peddlerwhospoke19 January 2005
    Zach (ritter) has brought a wonderful yet dirty performance as a womanizer who just can't get enough from jumping out of relationships and also funny predicaments just as his house burning down, not knowing how he can get his life back in order which is simply stop drinking with all help by his AGENT, Pychiatrist, and his bartender as they guide him through life. Wirtten by the wonderful Blake Edwards. Unique film with a scene today classic that i can't even describe to you because you probably won't even get to read it it would be deleted immediately. Rent the video or buy it now even the DVD even though no special features buy it any way.

  • John Ritter basically plays Jack Tripper (AKA Zachary Hutton) in a more adult setting in this movie. All the physical comedy practically screams Jack Tripper at you. That is a good thing, and it resulted in a pretty funny movie.. at times. It did seem to drag around the beginning, but when his life started falling apart, that's when the fun began.

    Another movie that this one reminded me of is Burt Reynolds' The Man Who Loved Women. The plot seemed to be the same. A womanizing man's ways catch up with him. Skin Deep was funnier, though, due to Ritter's comedy. The "Glow In The Dark" scene still holds up as a very funny scene today. I'm surprised I haven't seen it spoofed in one of many of today's "gross out" comedies, as it would certainly fit right in.

    The comedy was certainly up to par, but the movie makes you wait until the it is over half done to see it. The ending also seemed left a little unfinished. Nothing really happens to end the movie. It was very Adam Sandler-esque with how all of the characters in the movie were now his friends and he was just successful, without going into how he accomplished what he did despite all of his previous problems that hindered him before. Overall, I give this movie a 7 out of 10.
  • singhraj-3652314 August 2020
    You'll really enjoy this fantastic, hilarious and realistic movie. Just close your eyes and do as I say, go and watch this movie, you'll never regret about what I said.
  • SnoopyStyle29 February 2020
    Zach Hutton (John Ritter) is a bearded alcoholic award-winning writer with a bit of a writer's block. He claims to want monogamy but he can't stop womanizing. His wife divorces him and takes most of his stuff. His life starts falling apart as he cannot stop drinking or womanizing.

    The character is not appealing but John Ritter is. I would like this to be a dark comedy. The first half has elements of that but the broad physical comedy keeps poking its head into the movie. The movie goes full slapstick soon enough and I'm not feeling it. First thing first, the wife Alex needs a more charismatic actress. It's probably Blake Edwards' vision of a wife character. She needs to be at least be close to Ritter's screen presence but Blake wants her to be dull. There are some memorable stuff in this movie. The muscle blonde, the light sabre fight, the electrocution aftermath are all memorable. If the tone fits the subject better, this could actually be funny.
  • I loved this movie when it was first released when i was young(er), and just re-watched it. It's still so good. The scene with the after effects of the electrical shock treatment is hilarious, and if you watch closely, i'ts all done in one take.

    I'm so sad the we lost an actor like John Ritter much too soon. I also recently re-watched the movie "Sling Blade" where he also has a strong performance.

    This movie is so good, with such good performances. And it goes deeper than just being a comedy. It explores the effects of being an alcoholic as a rich person. It's very thought provoking, and makes you think.

    All in all a great movie.
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