Bil’s rating (out of 5): B.
USA, 2007. Bauer Martinez Studios, Templar Films Unlimited, Formula Films, Lucky 7 Productions LLC, Eclipse Catering, I Could Never Ltd.. Screenplay by Amy Heckerling. Cinematography by Brian Tufano. Produced by Cerise Hallam Larkin, Alan Latham, Philippe Martinez. Music by Mike Hedges. Production Design by Jon Henson. Costume Design by Shay Cunliffe. Film Editing by Kate Coggins.
Just days before its intended theatrical release, this film by Amy Heckerling, whose ability to capture the humour and charms of youth in movies like Clueless and Fast Times At Ridgemont High, had its distribution cancelled and was sent straight to DVD. Twenty minutes into it and you’re wondering why it took so long for the studio to realize they had such a dud on their hands. It’s an awkward, unfunny, painfully unsubtle romance about a television writer (Michelle Pfeiffer, still at the height of her beauty) who finds love with a twenty-something actor (Paul Rudd, who is too old for the part, ironically) who has just saved her terrible teen-oriented television show. Meanwhile, her daughter (Saoirse Ronan) is experiencing growing pains and trying to learn how to be assertive in a world where women get plastic surgery as a way to pass the time. Heckerling once again films California as a sunny, colourful world where fun is always around the corner, but her frustrations with the media’s treatment of women (at all ages) lacks intelligence (Ronan replacing Britney Spears’ lyrics with derogatory jabs at pop culture’s treatment of girls is painfully dry) and every strident cut at the industry comes across as simple-minded instead of direct.