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STUDIO: First Look Pictures
RUNNING TIME: 98 min
It’s screwball comedy with two unlikely leads
Director: Eddie O’Flaherty
Writer: Eddie O’Flaherty and J.P. Davis
Cinematographer: Michael Fimognari
Cast: Michele Laroque, Matthew Modine, Ed Quinn, Gina Mantegna, Ann Cusack, Krysten Leigh Jones, Robert Della Cerra
Christine owns and lives in a building she wants to develop. Before she can do so, she must convince her upstairs neighbor Jeff to move out. He refuses to even consider that option and the two find themselves at odds until Jeff finds out his ex-wife is about to marry his best friend. Jeff then makes Christine an offer she can’t refuse.
Matthew Modine is Jeff, an artist who is reluctant to allow his work to be displayed. He also lives in a building whose owner, Christine (Michele Laroque) wants to evict him so she can make renovations. Things go awry when Jeff learns that his best friend is about to marry his ex-wife. Jeff finally agrees to move out on the condition that Christine attends the wedding with him as a date. As you would expect, the two rivals start to develop feelings and the rest is already written.
The set up is completely old school. This is not the genre comedy today’s film fans have grown used to. This is more of the screwball comedy that harkens to the day of Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn. Unfortunately, this story is nowhere near as effective as the comedies of yesteryear. Christine is the bitch, go getter, willing to do whatever she can to get ahead. Jeff is the artist, a man who stands by his ideals even if it means losing everything. They are an odd couple and the setup is in place.
This could work if the actors were more compatible, but they aren’t. Matthew Modine does not scream interesting. Modine is great in the role as the clueless dad, which he also is in this movie, but when compared to Christine’s boyfriend Jonathan (Ed Quinn), he is just boring. The character of Christine is completely unlikable and, while that may be a good starting point, it makes it extremely hard for the viewer to get behind this relationship. That is not to say Modine is not a good actor, he is, but I just don’t buy the two leads in this film.
A screwball comedy relies sufficiently on the conflicting personalities of the leads and the crazy predicaments of the opposites’ attract scenarios. The setup here is tame in comparison to its contemporaries. The problem is not that the movie is bad, but instead that the movie is boring. This is not good enough to be a theatrical feature film but instead would have been more suited as a made-for-TV movie.
The direction is nice and the movie moves at a quick pace, keeping it short enough to be harmless in the end. Unfortunately, apathy is the worst enemy of the comedy and this movie doesn’t do anywhere near enough to make me care about it.
The DVD comes with nothing but the movie and a number of trailers.
5.6 out of 10