Movie reviews - 2004-08-26

  • 2004-08-26
This week:- Laws of Attraction- The Girl Next Door- The Whole Ten Yards

Laws of Attraction
Director: Peter Howitt

As with so many movies in this genre, when the main actors' mutual attraction fails to deliver, so does the movie. Julianne Moore and Pierce Brosnan are New York's two toughest divorce lawyers fighting like immature teenagers while they become increasingly attracted to each other. It's not that the movie doesn't try, but "Laws of Attraction" is simply a pointless and infantile comedy which doesn't offer much besides sitcom acting, stereotypes and hit-and-miss jokes. The plot is so ludicrously farfetched that it's impossible to believe in the characters and therefore difficult to be touched by the movie - or to care at all. Rather than a tearjerker romance that sweeps you off your feet, there's just a lot of screaming, yelling and overacting trying to grab your sympathy. * 1/2

Julie Vinten

From the opening credits, "Laws of Attraction" promises a lot more than it delivers. There is nothing wrong with a movie trying to be an old-fashioned comedy. Julianne Moore may not be ideal in the lead, but she is nicely matched with Pierce Brosnan. Together they manage to make a few sparks fly with their charming performances. Brosnan is especially sincere as a bumbling bachelor. It's nice that he doesn't just walk through his part as he usually does. But if you're looking for something original and witty, then keep looking. However, some silly fun now and then can be just as enlightening. Without a brain in your head, breathe in. Without a thought in your mind, breathe out. This is inadequate fluff from director Peter Howitt ("Sliding Doors"). ** 1/2

Laimons Juris G

The Girl Next Door

Director: Luke Greenfield

"The Girl Next Door" may seem like any other teenage comedy at first, but it turns out to be a little different. While the movie sticks to the formula, in some places it shows a hilariously rude and vulgar side that goes beyond anything a traditional American teen-com would allow. The plot goes: free-spirited, but nice-girl porn actress moves in next door and makes our teenage protagonist find his inner wild party animal. It turns out to be real love of course and he has to save her from her old life. "The Girl Next Door" has several oddly likeable characters and a number of good laughs. The plot is daft, but the movie has some guts and a tongue buried so firmly in cheek there is no doubt the filmmakers are far from dumb. ** 3/4
Julie Vinten

This could easily have been your regular throwaway teen sex romp. However, there is a genuinely funny undercurrent that puts "The Girl Next Door" a notch above being average. The foot-stomping soundtrack includes Muddy Waters, The Who, David Bowie and Donovan. This film will leave you with an idiotic grin - if you're a guy. Film critic Liz Braun of "The Toronto Sun" wrote: "A copy of 'Playboy' costs less, and the writing is way better." It's true; to a certain extent the movie exudes sexism, while targeting latent nerds and 14-year-old boys. However, the expert acting saves the day. Emile Hirsch and Elisha Cuthbert in the lead roles provide sufficient angst to last a lifetime. Teens in this movie act like teenagers are expected to in Hollywood films. ** 1/2
Laimons Juris G

The Whole Ten Yards
Director: Howard Deutch

Words can't describe how truly awful this movie is - to call it disastrous would be a compliment. Even considering making a sequel to the incomprehensively dreadful "The Whole Nine Yards" seems mad. And what's worse, this is even worse, if that's possible. Matthew Perry is doing his "Friends" routine as usual (this time without creating a single laugh), and of Bruce Willis' performance it can only be said that it's a very, very sad thing to watch. The actors might have had fun, but for the rest of us this movie is little other than an embarrassing display of stupidity and amateurism and a distasteful insult to our intelligence. Better stand clear of this one - it's a prime contender for the worst movie of 2004.

This gruesomely unfunny sequel to "The Whole Nine Yards" has to be the worst piece of muck this reviewer has ever had the embarrassing displeasure of watching. It's shocking to see Bruce Willis overact. After all he's been in so many genuinely entertaining films: "Die Hard," "Pulp Fiction," "The Fifth Element," "Twelve Monkeys," to name just a few. Whatever you do in this particular lifetime, definitely do not see this atrocious waste of time, talent and money. The actors are caught up in their own private joke, though there is absolutely nothing to laugh about. Do yourself a big favor and stay clear of this dud as if it were the plague. The only footage you'll be interested in will be the distance from your seat to the exit.