Thursday, February 01, 2007

Chick flicks: the reviewer's Kryptonite

We should dance and sing Motown songs into our hairbrushes.
-- Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham) on TV's Gilmore Girls

Be careful what you wish for. I saw a sneak of Because I Said So Monday. Diane Keaton plays Daphne Wilder, a single mother with three adult daughters: Maggie (Graham), Mae (Piper Perabo), and unmarried Milly (Mandy Moore).

This kind of film is what it is: an okay chick flick, allegedly sweet and easily forgettable. Looking for an interesting angle, I was planning to discuss how it ran through a checklist of Hollywood chick flick clich├ęs, but The Movie Mark already did it for me.

What else is there to say? Nothing coherent. I never use bullets!
  • In a supporting role, Graham toned down her trademark chattiness to play a character who's clever only in small doses. She needs more non-Lorelai roles like this to expand her range. Next up: Steve Carell's wife in Evan Almighty.

  • It follows the blueprint of Sweet Home Alabama. Moore is like Reese Witherspoon, successful and independent. Tom Everett Scott is Patrick Dempsey, the bachelor seemingly perfect in every way. And Gabriel Macht -- the self-made earthy man -- even looks like Josh Lucas, who in turn resembles Matthew McConaughey, but the transitive property does not apply.

  • There's a romance between Keaton and Stephen Collins, which bothered me because he played her ex in The First Wives Club. Has everyone else forgotten?

  • I was hoping for more edginess from director Michael Lehmann: maybe not as much as his Heathers, but about as much as his The Truth About Cats and Dogs. There's a hint of quirk in the side plot involving Graham's therapist character and her hapless patient, played by Tony Hale.


PG said...

My older sister was unafraid of the orgasm discussion and took our mom this past weekend. Aside from some discomfort at that scene, apparently enjoyment ensued. I'm surprised the filmmakers didn't save this film to release close to Mother's Day -- maybe it'll be on DVD by then? They're even radio-promoting it as "take your mom to see this movie."

Of course, if your mother is slightly irony-deficient, she'll take the movie as inspiration to begin matchmaking for her unmarried daughters...

Neel Mehta said...

Being neither a mother nor a daughter, I can't speak of the realism in having an orgasm discussion. I do know that I was feeling a tad uncomfortable, as I took my parents to the screening.

There was more adult content than I would expect from a chick flick.