Optimistically Cautious

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Film: "Because I Said So"

Despite reading several overly negative reviews, I was dying to watch Because I Said So. It seems the combined star power of Diane Keaton and Lauren Graham, coupled with my need to watch a saccharine romantic comedy, were too much to overcome.

About an overbearing, controlling mother (Keaton) trying to set up her youngest daughter Milly (played by Mandy Moore) with a "life partner," the movie wasn't as bad as I had expected. I didn't mind the cake gags as much as critics seemed to. Also, the women had an intriguing family dynamic, though were suffocating-ly close to one another. Lastly, there were some good lines (e.g. regarding why Keaton's Daphne never had an orgasm, "Your father said he didn't have all day, and he worked nights"). Still, the movie had its obvious weaknesses.

Even worse than last weekend's Sexy Laundry, I wanted Daphne to just SHUT. UP. So shrill and annoying was her character that I wondered if her bout with laryngitis mid-way through was an eleventh-hour script change (but that would be giving the writers a little too much credit). In addition, the lack of character development was jarring. The only details provided were those that helped the romantic arc along (what happened to Lauren Graham's baby? Did Piper Perabo's character have a job?). There was, for example, incredible irony in Daphne's statement that labeled jazz musicians as heartbreakers, as later on in the movie, the audience is led to believe that Daphne's sudden love is true on the merit that her new beau is a good grandfather. There was also the usual overt visual symbolism to differentiate between Mr. Right and Mr. Wrong. In this case, it involved Milly's wavy versus stick-straight hair.

On two shallow notes - Mr. Right, played by Gabriel Macht, was very well cast, and had the perfect amount of earnestness needed for the role. Secondly, I loved Keaton's entire wardrobe - full skirts, wide belts, and the eclectic-but-put-together outfits suited her beautifully (and I now have a strong affinity for polka dots).

While I wouldn't highly recommend the movie, it is the only cinematic romance available this Valentine's Day.



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