Sunday, February 27, 2011

Worst of the Worst: #56, Because I Said So

You start with four actresses -- Diane Keaton, Mandy Moore, Lauren Graham, and Piper Perabo -- who we rather like. But then it turns out they have no chemistry at all as a mom and her three daughters, because who would believe that those three could be sisters? And then you make the movie slapstick and have Keaton, who I might remind you had feature roles in The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, and Annie Hall, do all kinds of really stupid things. You have two likeable male leads in Tom Everett Scott and Stephen Collins, but you have a third in Gabriel Macht who is just not a good actor and give all three of them bad lines. You top it off with an unbelievable story and have multiple times that the four women sing together for no apparent reason and, voila, you have crap.

Moore plays a baker -- and to paraphrase Anton Chekhov, if a cake appears early in a stupid movie you know it's going into someone's face later on -- who is unlucky at love. Her sisters are both married, but she can't seem to find anyone. I guess it's because she is supposed to have some weird quirks, but it's Mandy Moore. Who doesn't find her cute? Their mother is divorced and living vicariously through her daughters -- who share way too much sexual info with each other -- and wants to make them happy by attempting to control every little part of their lives. She puts a personal ad in the paper and interviews men to date her single daughter, picking one and then helping him win her daughter's heart behind her back. In a weird plot twist that nobody could see coming, the daughter meets another guy who is both cute and free-wheeling. Which guy will the daughter choose and will her mother let her choose the one she wants? And will she find out about the personal ad in a dramatic scene that leads to a fight and people leaving answering machine messages when other people won't pick up the phone and eventual reconciliation while the daughter falls in love with whom she wants even though the guy she falls in love with finds out she's dating someone else and gets angry at her but then tries to get her back with a cute speech in a public setting that leads to them kissing and everyone clapping? Well, you'll just have to watch to find out.

And so Diane Keaton, she of the Godfather movies and a Best Actress winner for Annie Hall, ends up making sex jokes and wiping cake frosting off of her face. And Macht, Moore, and Keaton are all asked to deliver heartfelt speeches that are written very, very poorly. And the women sing together for no reason, but we're supposed to find it cute even though Moore's voice is a million times better than the other three's and they don't even that out so it sounds weird. So there you have the movie considered by many to be the worst movie of 2007. And it's really bad. But, somehow, I can't totally hate every second because I really do like the four actresses, especially Moore. Casting can't make a bad movie good -- though it can make a good movie like The Fighter very good -- but it can keep a movie from being unwatchable. So, Eyde Belasco -- who, by the way, cast a few other of these horrible movies but also did two great, great casting jobs in Half Nelson and (500) Days of Summer -- we salute you.

1 comment:

Betsy said...

I think this is one of my favorite Worst of the Worst reviews so far. Paragraph 2 is particularly effective. Thanks!