|Yeah, I'd be crying if I was caught in Romcom Hell, too, Kristen...|
2) This is one of those films that follows 'The Script' so closely that it doesn't bother to, you know, give any of these characters any character. Bell's Marti and Odette Yustman's Joanna seem to have jumped immediately from high school to the weekend this film takes in, and that's more than any of the other characters get.
3) This is also one of these films that is built on a co-incidence so back-breaking its not funny--okay, I could have accepted that Yustman and James Wolk's Will never met in high school...if he wasn't the star basketball player while she was the head cheerleader. There's no way they couldn't have met!
|Betty White gloats over the face she has the best career |
of all the people in this picture....
4) Two thing that just Aren't Funny Any More are Kids With Smart Mouths and Grannies With The Hots For Anything That Moves...and we get both! Thanks, Movie Gods!!!
5) I have never, ever seen a film so clearly demarcate its acts in a long time...to the point where you can see the exact moment when everyone has to stop acting like petulant madwomen and start bonding. And the way the script hewes so tightly to that three act structure produces a film where everyone, but everyone acts like a monster that until it's time for the message section of the film.
|Dear Hollywood...this is how you cast people to be family members|
6) It's really, really weird that Yustman and Sigourney Weaver's Ramona look more like mother and daughter than Bell and Jamie Lee Curtis' Gail...and Yustman and Weaver are supposed to be aunt and niece. The sad fact is that Bell's movie family looks exactly like a mismatched bunch of actors thrown together for name value.
7) It's also weird--although prolly their skills as actresses rather than the strength of the script or the characters provided them--that the film's message about how it's the sum of all your experiences that make you who you are, even the bad ones is driven home much, much better by Weaver and Curtis than by Bell and Yustman.
8) Oddly enough...the few moments of grace come from the smaller roles, especially the slightly-larger-than-a-cameo appearance of Dwayne Johnson as a federal marshall who gives Bell some good advice, and especially Kristen Chenoweth playing the too-fabulous wedding planner. On the other hand, Kyle Bornheimer's Tim is truly irritating, and the cameos by Patrick Duffy and Cloris Leachman are lazy and rely solely on the audience recognizing them as the actors and not the characters.
9) ...and speaking of lazy...this is one of those pictures where, when you see Kristin accidentally spills her lunch on Sean Wing's Charlie, you know that he is The Designated Love Interest--even when he has less than twenty minutes of screen time, and doesn't have a single scene of more than five lines with her.
|A reminder...THIS is the only reason I saw this film...this,|
and the fact that my free movie pass was expiring that weekend...
In short--one of those bad, bad movies that walks The RomCom Script like a prom date trying to prove he's not drunk to a highway patrolman...and thus doesn't realize they've created unlikable, unsympathetic characters behaving like lunatics. But at least Kristin Bell looked cute in her Nike Dri-Fit top and sweatpants in Act Two (Not so much the sweats in Act Three that keep slouching around her hips)
Incidentally, the trailers were similarly terrible--the worst of which was Gnomeo and Juliet, a version of the Shakespeare classic played out by garden gnomes that was so hideously ill-conceived my mouth hung open, and yet another showing of that abominable looking Life As We Know It trailer that just reinforces how unappealing the two 'appealing' leads are, and does the trailer script of handing us a two to five minute summary of the film from beginning to end. I should prolly also mention Burlesque, a backstage melodrama that's being sold as a vehicle for Christina Aguilara and features Bell as her frenemy...but the sight of Cher's overtly-plasticed body still scares me.