Lucy’s so cute.
Who wouldn’t want to say they were with her?
Here she is, played perfectly by Monica Potter, the other Julia Roberts (in that she looks similar and has a similar disposition but works much cheaper). Lucy has problems. Dumped by her inconceivably brutish boyfriend, who does so in a crowded elevator, she gives up on men… that is until her sister and best friend decide to drag her kicking and screaming into the dating arena of death.
And so the film plays out like this; Lucy has five dates over the course of nine months. One of them is so successful she ends up marrying one of the combatants – though, of course, we don’t find out until the end who the lucky fella is. Her string of dates vary from boorish to wildly erotic; from competitive to accidentally drug fuelled; from entirely pleasant to a parent-visited descent into Hell.
Lucy’s character is so sweet and yet antagonistic; she thinks she wholly understands men, but in fact knows very little of them. She’s looking for Mr. Perfect while overlooking the Mr. Rights and this leads to her mildly detached understanding of relationships and the men in her life. And it’s all handled very wittily with some genuinely funny moments that have the capacity to both make you cringe and laugh out loud at the same time.
Performances are all even here and the cast do well with the subtle wit of the script, bringing out the best possible result from the clever humour. Not to say it’s all so clever; there are certainly those all-time favourite bathroom moments here. However, it is all handled with class and a distinct lack of pretension that makes this a surprisingly sweet film and one that should raise a chuckle from all watching. As a rental it is most definitely worth the investment with a view to buying this unusually even and sweet-willed romance which is practically free of schmaltzy syrup.
Released in 2002, this film looks about as good as a film of that year should on DVD. There are no real issues here of any woefulness, and the 1.85:1 enhanced aspect ratio looks even a natural. Colour is even and blacks are true, while shadow detail is pretty good as well. Flesh tones are mostly okay, but for David Boreanaz whose character comes from Miami. His spray on tan looks a little orangey, particularly in the restaurant scene in New York. Otherwise the film looks just peachy.
Bummer. Only a Dolby Digital stereo mix here, but as the film is mostly a talkie, it doesn’t matter too much. The delivery is certainly up to the task and there are no obvious issues with sound degradation. The dialogue has been edited a couple of times from what are obviously much ruder words into a more family oriented comment or two. As the film retains an M rating, I can only figure the ruder words have been edited to keep the film feeling more sweet than classless and that’s okay, it works. It may just appear a little obvious they’ve dubbed a line or two.
The music is naturally of the romantic comedy style of soothingly sentimental and simple. Scored by Stephen Endelman, it seems to float away into the background a lot, dominated by the use of various cool tracks and deliberately cheesy love songs. However, it’s all good and well-suited.
There’s not a lot here extras-wise, but still, it’s worth a look. First up is the original theatrical trailer which runs for 1:35 in Dolby Digital stereo at the aspect ratio of 1.85:1 without anamorphocity.
Six highlighted filmographies are next for the major recognisable cast and these are followed by a 32 pic strong photo gallery. Many of these are full frame, which is a nice surprise (and how they should be presented all the time). These are from behind the scenes, stills from the film and pics from the special shoot (done for promotional purposes).
More From Palace Films brings us four trailers for The Rage in Placid Lake, Japanese Story, Erskineville Kings and The Sweet Hereafter.
Finally, four more trailers from the World Cinema Collection in Eat Drink Man Woman, Respiro, The Best Man’s Wedding and My Wife is an Actress.
Monica Potter steals the show here in the title role, and well she should – the film belongs to her. She plays her character brilliantly against the five very different men she dates and her subtlety and nuance as Lucy totally endear us to her character (save perhaps for ‘drunk Lucy’). Her leading men are all perfectly offset against her and there is a genuine chemistry between her and all of them (even the jerky ones).
This is a sweet little film that may be easy to miss on the shelves, but is definitely worth the investment in what turns out to be a very different mystery – no pursuit of a villain here, instead our pursuit of just which fella Lucy will end up marrying. It’s a lot of fun trying to figure out.