Review Date: December 13, 2000
Director: Nancy Meyers
Writer: Josh Goldsmith, Cathy Yuspa
Producers: S. Cartsonis, B. Davey, G. Matthews, N. Myers
Ugh, one of the most blatantly commercial movies to come down the pike in a long time. And by commercial, I mean a film so OBVIOUSLY created for a certain target audience. We've got the sad sack emotionally vulnerable character drifting in and out of the movie, for the sake of depth. Disposable secondary characters based on their obvious proclivity to the target audience (females 30-45). Remember who women chose as the most sensitive guy back in the old days? Alan Alda, that's right, he's in this movie! And what's any "chick flick" without Bette Midler. Oy vey, is right! I don't know, maybe I've seen too many of these types of movies in my day and the whole schtick is getting to be a little too see-through for me, but even without the obvious manipulative stuff going on behind the scenes, the story here is really quite underdeveloped. Mel gets this great power and does barely anything with it. He makes a few cute remarks to the ladies around his office, he uses it for obvious relationship reasons, he uses it to suck up to his daughter's friends...very flighty stuff.
And despite several cute and funny moments, especially the whole scene in bed with Marisa Tomei (tough shoot, hey Marisa?), the film just never really does much with its initial great concept. In fact, the wrap-up of Mel's newfound "power" is handled in an extremely clumsy way. Things just never seem to go under any type of surface in this movie, but if that's the kind of film that you're looking, then you might just enjoy this fluff piece. And no offense to Helen Hunt, whom I consider to be a solid actress, but am I the only one that's a bit Helen-ed out? That's four movies with her in the past six weeks! Phew. At least she had a "tan" in this one, despite the lack of color in her character's persona. This film is a study into the art of Nora Ephron romance movies gone awry!