(out of 5)
A film that was released to an immediate reputation as a stinker, and sadly it is well deserved. Sandra Bullock gives an execrably bad, not to mention confusing performance as a quirky crossword puzzle writer who seems to be happy living her lonely life in her parents’ house, single and constantly rambling on about the endless encyclopedic knowledge she possesses that helps her do her job. She’s only featured in the newspaper that hosts her once a week and she’s hoping to go daily, but that ambition is shunted aside when she goes on a blind date with a handsome television reporter (Bradley Cooper) and becomes immediately obsessed with him. He runs as fast he can from her the minute he sees her, while she cannot clue in to when she is not wanted and follows him to his various assignments covering news events around the country. Other than the fact that the dialogue is frequently clunky and the direction is just painfully amateur, what really makes this one impossible to watch is that it is set up as a story of a misunderstood young woman and the cruelty of a man who barely gives her a chance while avoiding his own maturity issues. She is so very unappealing that one cannot root for the guy in his attempt to keep his distance, the filmmakers unable to decide if she is adorably quirky or genuinely has an undiagnosed mental issue, a Manic Pixie Dream Girl with some kind of deeply damaging PTSD. The jokes fall flat and most of the plot makes very little sense. It’s not even bad enough to be fun, so just avoid it.
Directed by Phil Traill
Screenplay by Kim Barker
Cinematography by Tim Suhrstedt
Music by Christophe Beck
Production Design by Maher Ahmad