Review by: Jack Foley | Rating:
Two (for chick flick purists); One
(for everyone else)
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: None listed
ASHTON Kutcher and Amanda Peet make an endearing couple in this
gentle romantic comedy from the British director of Calendar
Girls and Amazing Grace.
But while the film ambles along pleasantly enough, its failure
to do anything special renders it a curiously lukewarm affair.
Essentially, Nigel Cole's movie strives to be a different take
on the age-old formula of two friends who seem destined to love
each other but who take years to realise it.
The couple in question are Kutcher's naive would-be internet
businessman, Oliver, and Peet's sassy photographer, Emily.
They meet for the first time while on a flight to New York from
Los Angeles and promptly join the Mile High Club before hanging
out with each other for a few days in the Big Apple.
It's clear from the outset that the two have chemistry (something
that's easily conveyed in the genial nature of the performances),
but they part ways after Emily decides Oliver's 'not right' for
The two then meet sporadically over the next few years, frequently
bailing each other out of trouble (of the being dumped variety),
before finally (after two hours) realising that they're perfect
for each other.
Yet what could have been a fun romp
turns into a mildly amusing fumble through cliched situations
that audiences have witnessed countless times before.
Oliver comes to the rescue of Emily on a New Year's Eve Party,
but she's too drunk to really make the most of it; while Emily
is there for Oliver when his online diaper-selling business fails.
You can pretty much predict the outcome of each meeting long
before it arrives.
Those in search of a straight-forward 'chick flick' will no doubt
take something away from it, but anyone who has seen When Harry
Met Sally or Serendipity would
be correct in thinking the formula has been done better several
It's a shame because both Kutcher and Peet acquit themselves
well as the friends in question, delivering believable performances
that deserve better material.
Kutcher, especially, tones down the goofiness and hints at some
real acting ability, while Peet is her usual radiant self (in
spite of some annoying tendencies).
The soundtrack, too, suggests a more livelier movie and there's
much fun to be had in picking out the classics from the past (such
as Third Eye Blind's Semi-Charmed Life or Smash Mouth's
Walkin' On The Sun).
Yet as fleetingly enjoyable as such things are, Colin Patrick
Lynch's limp script fails to hold the interest and feels a lot
like it's been patched together from too many other sources.
Only the hopelessly romantic need apply.
Interview: Amanda Peet
Interview: Ashton Kutcher
Why the soundtrack