Rating: PG-13, mostly for language
A self-absorbed, filthy-rich, divorcing couple flee Manhattan just ahead of pursuing agents from the Internal Revenue Service.
When their stolen taxi lands in a pond, they emerge in new surroundings: an Amish community in Intercourse, Pa. The wife accuses the husband of being ignorant of the sect, and he replies: ``I know everything I need to know about the Amish ... I saw 'Witness.' 'That's about as sophisticated as ``For Richer or Poorer' gets. For most of the time, the movie seems like a replay of ``Green Acres' - or maybe the Ma and Pa Kettle movies.
``For Richer or Poorer' combines the sitcom talents of Tim Allen and Kirstie Alley, and they milk the situations with their customary skill. But neither they nor the competent cast can overcome the formulaic script by Jana Howington and Steve Lukanic or the humdrum direction by Bryant Spicer.
The outcome is predictable: big-city folk venture into hicksville and are spiritually transformed by the solid values of their country cousins.
The film opens as Allen and Alley are celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary with a lavish party, even though they are at each other's throats. He chooses the occasion to unveil his wretched new promotion, a Bible-based theme park called The Holy Land.
The evening ends in disaster, but the worst comes the next day. Husband and wife find their credit cards have been rescinded, their accountant has disappeared and a gun-toting IRS agent is on their trail. After the obligatory car chase through upper Manhattan, Allen and Alley escape to Amish country.
Posing as relatives, they are taken in by a farming family. At first the interlopers complain bitterly about the pre-dawn risings and the daylong labor. They also grumble about Amish living - outdoor toilet, no phone, no electricity.
The locals are also suspicious of their visitors' strange ways. But when she organizes a campaign to brighten the Amish clothing and he tames a huge horse and uses it to unearth a large tree stump, they are accepted. Then the IRS task force descends.
The scriptwriters and Spicer, who previously directed ``Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie' and ``McHale's Navy,' handle the slapstick with heavy hands. Scatology, both vocal and visual, is the level of the humor. Larry Miller, as the IRS agent who imagines himself as Clint Eastwood, is made to overact voraciously.
At least the Amish are depicted with a modicum of dignity.