Bil’s rating (out of 5): B. USA, 2001. Revolution Studios, Face Productions, Roth-Arnold Productions. Screenplay by Billy Crystal, Peter Tolan. Cinematography by Phedon Papamichael. Produced by Susan Arnold, Billy Crystal, Donna Roth. Music by James Newton Howard. Production Design by Garreth Stover. Costume Design by Ellen Mirojnick. Film Editing by Stephen A. Rotter.
Flat, boring and completely unsympathetic romantic comedy that wastes the talent of everyone involved. Billy Crystal (who wrote and produced) plays a publicity director at a major Hollywood studio who finds himself wrapped in problems when he is forced to reunite estranged Tom-and-Nicole-like couple Gwen Harrison and Eddie Thomas (Catherine Zeta-Jones, John Cusack) for a press junket of the last movie they made together. Trouble is, they hate each other, and getting them in the same room again is going to be more difficult than it seems. Adding to the complications, Gwen’s sister and assistant Kiki (Julia Roberts) has a bit of a jones for Eddie, Gwen is shacked up with a latin lover (Hank Azaria, doing a heterosexual version of his character in The Birdcage) with a real jealousy complex, and Eddie finds himself drawn to both women simultaneously without knowing which way to go. Despite all the witty lines and a few funny moments, there is not a whiff of comedy in this insipid film, nothing important enough ever happens to chase away the utter boredom it pulls over you, and none of Roberts’ star quality is in evidence. It is just not possible to enjoy a film full of such annoyingly selfish and inhumane people. To be avoided at all costs!