First Knight

Article excerpt

ACCORDING TO LEGEND, LANCELOT was born to love only Guinevere: Lady Elaine had to spike his wine just to get him into ye olde sack. Now Richard Gere is playing the knight in the shiniest armor, so needless to say he's become a make-out artist who looks as if he'd lay the Lady of the Lake. Jerry Zucker's fun but perfunctory romance First Knight is ostensibly a King Arthur story. But Zucker and screenwriter William Nicholson have jettisoned so much of the epic--no Grail, no sword, no stone, no Merlin, no magic--it's a wonder they didn't just start from scratch. Zucker directed "Ghost," and is once more on the trail of endless love, focusing on the triangle between a fearless knight, a conflicted queen (Julia Ormond) and a beneficent, unsuspecting king (Sean Connery).

Guinevere is on her way to marry Arthur when her convoy is ambushed in the forest. She does battle--and looks terrific slamming one guy's head against a tree-until Lancelot charges up to save the day. Guinevere tells the wandering swordsman she's set to marry the king. He puts the moves on her right there in the woods anyway, saying, "I always know when a woman wants me." Guinevere fends Lancelot off after one kiss. But he follows her to Camelot, where they exchange tortured glances as he becomes a knight and helps defend Arthur's kingdom against the evil Malagant (Ben Cross). …