Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.
USA, 2002. Command Performance Productions, Sandyo Productions. Story by David Bakalar, Screenplay by Jim Jermanok, Steve Jermanok. Cinematography by Claudio Rocha. Produced by David Bakalar. Music by Harry Gregson-Williams. Production Design by John Frick. Costume Design by Rudy Dillon. Film Editing by Luis Colina.
The cliches are exhausting in this poorly made romantic comedy. Sofia Milos is excellent as a young Portuguese-American widow in colourful New Bedford, Massachussetts, who has no intention of ever finding another man after the death of her fisherman husband. Her rebellious daughter (Emmy Rossum) meets a card sharp (Jason Isaacs) and asks him to teach her the tricks behind card counting, which he agrees to do after espying the girl’s beautiful mother and falling madly in love with her. It’s a crying shame that the screenplay is so predictable considering how enjoyable the aesthetic aspects of the film are: Milos is lovely, and her scenes of performing fado are rich and beautiful (even if they are poorly lip-synched). The gorgeous photography of the east coast and tuneful soundtrack are fully sensual pleasures, but for compelling characters and story, you could hardly do worse, and Portuguese viewers will be appalled at the plethora of cultural inaccuracies.