There are several occasions where I thank my lucky stars I have this job. If a movie you would never expect is fantastic, I love being able to shout it from the rooftops. Likewise, if a movie you would expect to be wonderful, say a James L. Brooks (Terms of Endearment, As Good As It Gets) romantic comedy starring some of our most talented and well-liked actors, is actually complete and utter dog doo, I can likewise give the warning. Let’s begin.
Lisa (Reese Witherspoon) has just been cut from the Olympic softball team. Her professional baseball player boyfriend Matty (Owen Wilson) is too shallow and self-involved to care. Meanwhile, George (Paul Rudd) calls her for a date despite the fact he is about to be indicted for securities fraud. Their first date is so awkward that Lisa encourages them not to speak at all and they endure a silent meal together. Ultimately George and Lisa strike up a meaningful friendship while she figures out, at the speed of a glacier, that Matty is a vanity case with monogamy issues. Um, gee, does this review seem ham-handed and disjointed? Welcome to the film.
This may be the worst movie I have seen in five years. There is not a laugh line in the script. There is a chemistry vacuum—the big kiss at the end seemed like it was occurring between siblings, and the tedium was mind-numbing. On a sad note, I really got the sense that Jack Nicholson, who has a small role as George’s father, is not well. His voice is raspy and he seems to be struggling to breath at times—just one more reason that this film was literally painful to watch. LN