This epic, lavish adaptation of Sidney Sheldon's best -selling 1974 novel is so misguided in so many ways that it plays like a self-parody instead of the glossy romantic tragedy the filmmakers obviously intended. The first problem is the script, which mixes ludicrous plotting, paper-thin characterizations and howl-worthy dialogue into one overstuffed, wrong-headed mess. To make matters worse, the story's tone shifts back and forth between screwball comedy and lurid melodrama in a thoroughly jarring fashion and it gives the viewer no reason to become emotionally involved in what's going on (John is such an obvious cad from the start that it seems ludicrous for the film's two heroines fall in love with him). Director Charles Jarrott only accentuates these problems by giving the film a limp pace that makes its two hour and forty minute running time positively numbing and a flat, television-styled look that robs the film's locations of their color and appeal. The final nail in the coffin of The Other Side Of Midnight is its misguided casting: Susan Sarandon is likable and energetic as Catherine but Marie-France Pisier's acting style is too steeped in remote, European cool to hit the melodramatic heights the character of Noelle requires and John Beck lacks the looks and charisma to make Larry the lady-killer the plot needs. To sum up, The Other Side Of Midnight is so inept that it might amuse devotees of camp misfires (Andy Warhol once proclaimed it one of his favorite films because of its plastic quality) will test the patience of most other viewers.