Welcome to Edition #2 of Magick Sandwich Mini Movie Reviews. And I do mean #2 in the most scatological sense possible.
This movie is aggressively unfunny. I expect nothing from Kate Hudson and she delivers. I was once trapped on a plane with her and Matthew McConaughey grinning through How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, wishing I had a sneaker bomb to end the misery of everyone on board.
Horsey faced Anne Hathaway is another story. She was fun in The Devil Wears Prada and no one could fault her for her early Princess oeuvre. But with this flick, she has used up the goodwill she generated for her excellent performance in Rachel Getting Married. That's a movie worth seeing, unlike this lace-covered pile of merde.
The only reason to watch is to marvel at the doughy puffiness of Candice Bergen's face. It could be natural but seems suspiciously like what plastic surgeons call "pillow face." Whether due to injectible fillers or not, the swelling continues its progression apace since the last couple seasons of Boston Legal. If it remains on its current trajectory, Ms. Bergen's next role may well be as a Murphy Brown balloon in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.
The first few scenes of this movie are filled with promise. Isla Fisher nails the pleasure-pain cycle of addiction. The naked need, the thrill of acquisition and its guilty aftermath, and the shock when opening the credit card bill are played to perfection. I found myself laughing ruefully at my own past retail therapy while resolving not to repeat the folly. Then, the love story arrives, like a dead limb surgically attached to the plot.
The story also unwinds in the anachronistically powerful world of magazines, a place where periodicals do not fold, pardon the pun, daily. I can understand the compulsive shopping theme even in today's economy: fiscal reality has nothing to do with this addiction except when the bills come due. But magazine publishers astride today's world like a Colossus? Not so much.
When will filmmakers finally realize that Patricia Field should not be a costumer, ever? Her bizarre idea of what constitutes chic seems to have caused a mass hallucination that has endured since her days at Sex and the City. The outfits she puts together would, in reality, not touch the back of any self-respecting New Yorker save a homeless one layering castoffs for warmth. Even she would be embarrassed by it.
Add the impossibly wimpy, whiny love interest and at about half an hour in, you'll want to douse yourself with kerosene and light a match.
But wait! There's more!
This one will make you want to hang yourself from the rafters. There are a couple chuckles to be had but in general, it's so depressing that I had to look on the Netflix sleeve to confirm that it is indeed billed as a romantic comedy.
One unhappy couple with Scarlett Johannson as its orbiting tartlet should be excised from the movie like a metastatic tumor. By the way, is anyone else wishing that the dubiously talented bee-stung Scarlett would just be, say, stung to death by bees? Even her cries of owww-ah would sound tinny and flat, marked with the hollow lassitude that Woody Allen, among others, has mistaken for intellectual ennui in a gorgeous creamy shell.
But I digress. DON'T SEE IT. There, I'm done.
P.S. Just one more thing:
It also bothers me that there isn't even one scene of them cleaning up and having new furniture delivered after Marley's canine destruction. And no talk of euthanasia? Unrealistic.
Like Christopher Walken having a fever for more cowbell, my prescription for this movie is more dog. Even though this particular dog is annoying as hell, he is more interesting by half than anything else in this insipid flick. Its saccharine message that life doesn't turn out the way you planned but it's better this way might not pluck at your heart strings but (spoiler alert!) the doggy funeral will.
You know it's coming from the first scene but it still hits you in the gut when it happens. You will cry. It won't be a nice cathartic experience, a reaffirmation of love in the face of mortality. It'll feel like an emotional rape, like you've been mentally cornholed by Hollywood, without lube.
Consider yourself warned.
Magick Mini Movie Reviews