Wednesday, September 16, 2009

All About Steve **

Starring Sandra Bullock, Bradley Cooper, Thomas Haden Church and Ken Jeong.
Rated PG-13.
Directed by Phil Traill.
Written by Kim Barker.

* *

There are certain constants in the light comedies that Sandra Bullock produces: quirky characters, an upbeat ending, and plenty of laughs, thanks to her slapstick and often self-deprecating humor.

All About Steve most certainly has quirky characters and an upbeat ending, but it’s lacking in the humor department.

Mary Horowitz (Bullock) is a talking encyclopedia. She is also a crossword constructer at a local newspaper. Her simple life goes a little wild after she meets Steve (Bradley Cooper) who is a cameraman for a news station. Immediately after their first date (which lasts all of ten minutes) Mary decides Steve is the perfect man for her and she follows him as he chases news stories around the country. Mishaps, natural disasters and absurd headlining events follow.

Watching Mary blindly go after this man who isn’t interested in her is a horrible mix of heartbreaking, pathetic and disturbing. The first scene Bullock and Cooper share together is so rushed and abrupt that it isn't even believable.

Cooper, who is Hollywood’s latest It guy, plays an everyday hunky Joe without a whole lot of depth or chemistry with Bullock. Maybe that’s the point: sometimes the object of a person's devoted pursuit isn’t such a great fit after all.

The theme of the film, to let your freak flag fly, is admirable, but Mary isn’t relatable or much of a role model and at times can be downright annoying. Although it’s a jovial romp, the film is missing a certain realness that Bullock brings to her other characters.

Look for the upcoming review of JENNIFER’S BODY, which hits theatres on September 18th.

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