How to Beat the High Cost of Living (1980) *


Three gals, up against it in different ways, hatch an ingenious plot to rob the 'money ball' - an enormous glass sphere stuffed with notes - used as part of a publicity stunt at their local mall.

Simple, cheerful comedy that plays like a long episode of a tv sitcom: it seemed utterly disposable at the time, but has now acquired a genuinely attractive dusting of nostalgia value, and the practiced and likeable cast keep things moving merrily along. (For less objective analysis, see here.)
Notable-ish for reuniting Susan Saint James, Richard Benjamin and screenwriter Robert Kaufman after the success of Love at First Bite, for teaming Saint James and  Jane Curtin before Kate and Allie, and for giving Jessica Lange, who looks gorgeous here, a chance to show she was better than the remake of King Kong, and thus paving the way for The Postman Always Rings Twice.