Director: Gore Verbinski
Writer: J.H Whyman
Producers: Lawrence Bender & John Baldecchi
Brad Pitt as Jerry Welbach, Julia Roberts as Samantha Barzel, James Gandolfini as Leroy
In fact, the first half of the film comes out a-blazin’ with a very nifty soundtrack, an infectious score, plenty of laughs via Pitt’s adventures in the land of Me-hico, and some decent tete-a-tetes between Roberts and Pittski. And yeah, the directing was also top-notch. But once they split, the two stories seemed to take different emotional routes and kept me somewhat off-guard. In fact, I wasn’t all that interested in the Roberts end of the story as much as Pitt’s end for the most part, and didn’t particularly see reason to get so much into Gandolfini’s background either (we find out more about him than the two leads together!). It was as if they didn’t want him to simply play this “thug” again, and they tried to develop his character somewhat, but it was all too much, for this type of movie. I would’ve preferred that the film stuck to its original fast-pace, hardy chuckles and fun-time chemistry. But the length of the movie and the second half’s more “serious” tone, ultimately left me entertained, but not as much as I anticipated early on (one specific somber event felt particularly out of place). In fact, note to all filmmakers who decide to slap two very hot, pretty stars together for another movie in the future…uhmm, give them more scenes together, dammit!! That’s what I’m paying my umpteen pesos for, buddy, I want to see Julia and Brad interact!! Granted, the story also has to be very good, but if you’ve got the stars to sign on the line that is dotted, why not use them in more scenes together? Just a thought.
In fact, since the film only superficially touches upon their relationship early on, you don’t really feel all that much for the couple as they try to get back together throughout the movie. But all in all, the film did still manage to entertain me with its general fun vibe, its charismatic stars, its somewhat diverting story and upbeat soundtrack. Not a mucho nachos recommendation but a recommendation nonetheless.