Skin Deep
Theatrical release poster
Directed byBlake Edwards
Produced byTony Adams
Written byBlake Edwards
Music by
CinematographyIsidore Mankofsky
Edited byRobert Pergament
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
  • March 3, 1989 (1989-03-03)
Running time
101 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$8.5 million[1]
Box office$45 million[2]

Skin Deep is a 1989 American romantic sex comedy film written and directed by Blake Edwards and starring John Ritter.


Zachary "Zach" Hutton is a successful author who has a weakness for alcohol and beautiful women. Zach's mistress walks in on him in the process of cheating on her with her attractive hairdresser, followed by his estranged wife Alex discovering his mistress about to shoot him with his revolver. Following the breakup of those relationships, Zach engages in a long period of binge-drinking and solace-seeking with a string of women. He avoids work, continues to strain relations with his ex-wife and drunkenly attends a formal party dressed in a genie's costume.

Zach's affairs include one with a volatile woman named Molly who deliberately leaves him hooked up too long to a skin-treatment electro-therapy machine that gives his body quivering spasms from head to toe. He also has a one-night stand with a remarkably muscular female bodybuilder named Lonnie, telling her before sex that he feels "like Mrs. Arnold Schwarzenegger." One gag scene is portrayed in total darkness, with Zach wearing a luminous condom as he prepares to have sex with yet another woman he has just met, Amy. When her boyfriend returns to the hotel room similarly equipped, the two men engage in a frantic fight, their glow-in-the-dark attire bouncing crazily across the darkened room.

After disrupting his ex-wife's wedding day, it finally dawns on Zach just how out of control his lifestyle has become. He sobers up, abstains from womanizing, and begins to write again. Achieving the trifecta of recovery that Alex predicted he couldn't achieve, he wins back her love.



Critical reception

The film received mixed to negative reviews. The film earned a 33% "Rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 15 critics. However, many critics praised John Ritter's performance in the film.[3] One of the few positive reviews was by Roger Ebert, who wrote, "The daring thing Edwards does in Skin Deep is to try to combine two entirely different tones within the same film. This is a smart, sensitive film that knows a lot about human nature."[4]

Box office

Despite negative reviews, the film was a financial success grossing $20 million in the United States and Canada and $25 million internationally, for a worldwide total of $45 million.[5][2]



  1. ^
  2. ^ a b "Morgan Creek Prods. Box Office". Variety. February 15, 1993. p. 46.
  3. ^ Skin Deep at Rotten Tomatoes Accessed June 1, 2015.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Skin Deep at Box Office Mojo Accessed June 16, 2012.