How many duds does it take to put someone in director jail? I’ve always wdondered if there’s a set number. If there is, then director Lasse Hallstrom is most likely closing in on it. He  made his biggest domestic mark with a decent one-two punch of The Cider House Rules and the treacly, yet enjoyable Chocolat, both of which got him awards attention and consideration as a director of “prestige” films. But slowly but surely that foundation began cracking with two straight failures, The Shipping News and An Unfinished Life. Now, he seems to be headed back toward Chocolat territory with a new romantic comedy.

Sammy is the story of a relationship between a woman who can sense what animals are thinking and a man who can do the same with dead people. The only way this could be remotely interesting is if they cast this film with the TV version of each character, Animal Planet’s Sonya Fitzpatrick and John Edwards of Crossing Over infamy, respectively. Then, they could team up to take on The Dog Whisperer in a barbwire and exploding cage match on a pay-per-view with the survivor to appear on Nancy Grace’s CNN show, thereby fulfilling all endtimes prophecies and bringing on the Rapture.

Sadly, I think it’ll just be an overly precious trifle of a film.