Alex & Emma (2003)
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Review Date: June 22, 2003
Director: Rob Reiner
Writer: Jeremy Leven
Producers: Jeremy Leven, Rob Reiner, Elie Samaha
Kate Hudson
Luke Wilson
Sophie Marceau
A down-and-out writer needs to bang out a new novel in the next 30 days in order to get paid and pay off a couple of loansharks who will otherwise, kill him. In order to quicken his pace, the man hires a stenographer to help him as he dictates the story, but she turns out to be a handful, with opinions and suggestions slowing him down. Will he ever finish the book? Will the loansharks kill him? Will he ever get the girl? Is this a good movie? Find out below.
This film seemed to have a lot of things going for it. For one, it was a romantic comedy released at just about the perfect time between the glut of all-out summer actionners like THE MATRIX RELOADED and THE HULK and T3 and PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN. For two, the man behind the project was Rob Reiner, the director of one of the most successful romantic comedies of all-time: WHEN HARRY MET SALLY. And for three, it starred Kate Hudson, a bubbly actress whose last film was HOW TO LOSE A GUY IN 10 DAYS, another romantic comedy which surprisingly grossed over $100 million dollars. All that to say (yeah seriously dude...get on with it already!), that even with all that going for it, even with a genuinely interesting concept featuring a dual-story intertwined via flashbacks and present day, the boringly titled ALEX & EMMA didn't provide much more than one very funny scene, a few chuckles here and there, a dab or romance and very little in overall entertainment value or unforgettability (PS: I'm now making up words as I go along). In fact, as I walked out of the theater with my lady friend, I mentioned how very little about the film had either affected, touched or engaged me and how I would likely forget about it in less than half an hour and thirty-five minutes and one nacho platter later...most of the film was erased from my mind and replaced with the pure success that was WHEN HARRY MET SALLY. What makes that even sadder is that the marketing folk behind this flick were obviously using the former film to "sell" this one (the commercial included a shot of Hudson saying "Oh yes!!" in that oh-so "Sally Albright having an orgasm at the Deli scene" kind of way), while the movie itself also included several "nods" or direct "rip-offs" from WHEN HARRY with one character literally having the same "cute quirk" as Harry did in the former film (an affinity to reading the last few pages of a novel before the book itself).

But before I sound like a bitter man, comparing it to a classic and all, allow me to say that this film simply didn't have enough story or interest in its characters to truly work on its own anyway. It might, on the other hand, work as a decent "video movie" that you could rent with your loved one on a boring weekend and enjoy on some very basic fluffy level. Kate Hudson was also pretty good, but I didn't feel enough of her "special spark" come off the screen this time around. Great ass though. Wilson was also decent, but again, not much about him jumped off the screen either. The chemistry between them was also so-so at best, and while the flashback concept was definitely creative and very well handled, much of the other story wasn't funny or believable enough to warrant much interest after the halfway point. Sophie Marceau looked hot as heck though and the one "very funny scene" that I spoke of earlier featured the "flashback Wilson" knocking on the "flashback Hudson's" door and going back and forth in a cut-off, but quite ingenious, exchange of words. I wish more of the screenplay had that much "oomph" or humor in it. And where the heck was the soundtrack to this film? I know that Reiner can't get Connick Jr. to score all his flicks, but there was only one song that I even remember hearing here, and it wasn't even a particularly good one at that. The film also ended with some very obvious continuity issues as the "final day" was somehow packed with a handful of events all miraculously transpiring in a little over a few hours and if anyone in their right mind ever believed that these two would not end up together...well, I guess they may never have seen a romantic comedy in their lifetime because the predictability factor in this one is right around the 100% mark. All that to say that despite several faults, obvious twists, turns and very little in impressive romance or humor, I guess I didn't hate it to any major extent or thought it to be a badly created film as much as it was just "there" (I was also able to relate to all the "jilted by love" crap). So I guess I would still slightly recommend it...but on the "little screen" only.
(c) 2018 Berge Garabedian

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