The Good: A Somewhat decent cast, moments of Walken
The Bad: Not funny, Unlikable characters, Predictable, Low denominator humor
The Basics: In a film devoid of any characters who are empathetic and a plot that seems like it was written by a third grade student, the viewer has nothing to enjoy from America’s Sweethearts.
When was the last time you watched a romantic comedy that actually surprised you? One where you couldn't call the ending in the first two minutes of the film and where the characters were actually interesting and likable? How about one that was actually funny and that stood up over multiple viewings? If you're looking for a movie that meets all of those criteria . . .
. . . keep looking, it's not America’s Sweethearts.
The premise of this dullard is that a famous movie couple has broken up. Gwen and Eddie were box office magic when they worked together and their last film is ready to be released, but it needs the two of them to work the press to sell it. So, their agents work tirelessly to arrange a press junket where it will appear that the two are still together. The problems? Eddie has had a complete, crippling nervous breakdown and Gwen is a hellish diva.
Right off the bat, the only moment of this film I enjoyed was Christopher Walken's character. When Hal plays the movie he filmed that the press junket is supposed to be for, I laughed. That was once in 102 minutes. That's not enough.
What went wrong? The script is horrible. It's not funny. It resorts to stupid jokes like a dog nuzzling into a man's crotch (and the man is Billy Crystal). It resorts to stupid fat jokes in reference to Kiki, Gwen's sister and agent, and it tops it all off with stupid attempts to make Eddie's mental state seem funny.
All of the meetings between Gwen and Eddie at the resort are obvious, contrived and insult the intelligence of the viewers. That Eddie can't see Kiki's obvious love for him is ridiculous and the way all of the characters behave is appalling and insipid. This movie reads like a tabloid, without the emotional resonance of celebrities one actually cares about.
Catherine Zeta-Jones portrays Gwen as a hellion without any redeeming qualities such that it makes it impossible to see why the nice guy Eddie, much less anyone, would be attracted to her. John Cusack never makes Eddie anything special. He plays the wounded man much like his other parts, like Jonathan in Serendipity. Put Eddie and Jonathan in the same room and I couldn't tell them apart at this point.
America’s Sweethearts continues the trend of leaving me baffled as to how Julia Roberts continues to keep getting work. Indeed, like Cusak, there is nothing distinctive that she does as Kiki to differentiate from some of her other roles.
In short, America’s Sweethearts is a contrived piece that works under the idea that if you put two feuding, unlike people together in a situation where they have to be on their best behavior, hilarity will ensue. It does not. If you want a good romantic comedy that puts two different people together and actually works, try When Harry Met Sally.
For other works featuring Stanley Tucci, be sure to check out my reviews of:
The Hunger Games
Captain America: The First Avenger
The Devil Wears Prada
For other film reviews, please visit my Movie Review Index Page for an organized listing of all the films I have reviewed!
© 2012, 2004 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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