I Could Never Be Your Woman

  • 2007-12-19
  • by Tim Ochser

ODD COUPLE: Rosie and Adam's romance comes off just as false as everything else in this ill-contrived rom-com.

Director: Amy Heckerling

The opening credits to "I Could Never Be Your Woman" show a graphic montage of women who have just undergone cosmetic surgery. Their horribly bruised and swollen faces make for a pretty disturbing sight 's hardly the usual light-hearted way of introducing a romantic comedy.

But then "I Could Never Be Your Woman" is an odd little movie. It tries to take a stand against our cultural obsession with youth and beauty but within the fundamentally escapist format of the romantic comedy. As such, it has all the influence of an anti-cosmetic surgery article appearing in Cosmopolitan magazine.
There are also many incongruities in this well-meaning but muddled mess of a movie. For example, it opens with a rambling monologue by Mother Nature (Tracey Ullman), who inveighs against the egoistic generation of Baby Boomers for having done so much damage to the environment.
Yet Mother Nature dresses like a vintage '60s hippy and talks in a drawling Brooklyn accent. Mother Nature also serves as the voice of conscience to Rosie (Michelle Pfeiffer), an ageing single mother who works as a scriptwriter for a network teen soap opera.

Quite why Mother Nature is only visible to Rosie isn't clear but the result is just plain silly.
The crux of the story is that the 40-something Rosie falls in love with a 20-something actor named Adam (Paul Rudd). Can they or can they not be happy together? That's the gist of it all.
The fact that Adam is forever joking around and playing the clown is far more of a hindrance than a help to the story. The attraction between Adam and Rosie simply isn't convincing on any level, and at times it's positively embarrassing to watch the painfully mismatched couple.

But "I Could Never Be Your Woman" does have some good points. The occasionally sharp and scathing dialogue offers a good insight into the mad world of network television and its ratings-driven programming.
The relationship bet-ween Rosie and her teenage daughter Izzie (Saoirse Roman) is also genuinely touching. Torn between childhood and adolescence, Izzie's character is by far the most moving thing in the entire film.
The rest of the characters are annoyingly crude and stereotyped, from a super-camp gay wardrobe manager to a super-bitchy secretary. "I Could Never Be Your Woman" certainly means well but in the end it's as shallow as the very things it sets out to criticize. 

Now showing in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

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