Dan didn’t much care for it, and I respect his opinion, but felt compelled to see it anyway. Isn’t it funny how we do that? I wrote a review on a terrible movie called Freeway, but because it’s Reese Witherspoon doing the terrible, that review managed to garner someone else into watching it. So, that being said, I knew because Dan told me, that this would be a bad movie, and it was. But I still watched it, and here’s why:
a) David O. Russell directed it. Now, if you know me, you may realize that this is not normally a selling point for me. Silver Linings Playbook did nothing for me; American Hustle did even less. But I did love The Fighter and I hearted I Heart Huckabees. But sometimes even David O. Russell hates David O. Russell movies, such is the case with Accidental Love. This movie has been collecting dust on the shelves since 2008. Russell removed himself from the project in 2010. Somebody has just decided to release it, so it bears the “director is embarrassed” pseudonym Stephen Greene. Russell normally excels at satire. It’s the heart of Huckabees. So I imagine he saw the potential for a hell of a political satire in the script, but let me assure you, it never pops in this movie. It never works, not even for a second.
b) The cast. Jessica Biel doesn’t have any bank with me, but James Marsden does, and so does Jake Gyllenhaal after his brilliant turn in Nightcrawler. I most possibly most impressed with Catherine Keener, whom I love but seems to be typecast as these blowsy, hippie types, but gets to play a conservative astronaut-turned-congresswoman complete with bucket hair and power suits in this one and does a really, really good job. But then the cast had to walk out on filming because the producers failed to show they had enough money to actually pay them, and even worse, pay the below-the-line crew members.
c) The satire. It’s easy enough to poke fun at the health care system in America; it pretty much lampoons itself. Why then does the whole thing fail to gel? If principal photography was never really completed, you can understand why a movie might not meet its potential. But they’ve cobbled together a beginning, a middle, and an end, and at no point does it feel like you’re watching something smart or funny or worthy. This movie may have been plagued with production difficulty, but it was also plagued with pure suckage. If Kirstie Alley lands more laughs than Tracey Morgan, ABORT! Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200. And do not stick in Peewee Herman as straight man just to see if anyone notices. Kristin Gore is credited for her screenplay – as in, daughter of Tipper and Al, a family not known for their comedic stylings, but alas, she has written for Futurama and she’s got politics in her blood, so how can we forgive her for so completely missing the boat?
So, Dan was right, as we knew all along he would be. But sometimes you have to roll around in the slop just to enjoy the bath afterward. Amiright?