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A Lot Like Love (12A)



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 her.

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 times before.

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 rocks!

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