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Kissing a Fool
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Reviews & Ratings for
Kissing a Fool More at IMDbPro »

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Not impressive

Author: karenya from Germany
15 February 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This was a great plot, but this filming really missed something for me. As a romantic comedy, it can be enjoyed, but it doesn't blow me away like the big ones do. The cruelty was out of place, particularly the scene after Sam's and Max's first date. Individual scenes made sense and ran smoothly, but the whole film didn't have much cohesion for me. I found it difficult to believe Jay really had a relationship with the model Natasha, so much so that he was quite despondent after the breakup. I did actually like the sliminess of David Schwimmer's character. His Band Of Brothers role is the only one I can remember in which he performed even better. Mili Avatal as Sam showed no warmth or sincerity, I'm sorry to say. This movie always leaves me wishing I had chosen another film to watch.

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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

I was the fool for watching this...

Author: tim_buk2 from Tallinn, Estonia
16 August 1999

The story opens with a bride and groom kissing at their marriage service but you only get to see the face of the bride. This is a clue for us. We are going to have to figure out as we watch the film which guy is going to end up being the groom. The picture on the front of the video box has already showed us a bride being kissed from one side by Schwimmer and simultaneously from the other by Lee so we know the race for romance is going to be between the two of them. (This release, with Dutch subtitles, has a different picture to the US video/ IMDb picture.)

Yet in the first five minutes Linda the publisher tells us, not once, but twice that she introduced the bride and groom. We cut to a flashback of her introducing the two of them to each other, just in case we still don't get it. Then within another five minutes Jay the writer (Lee) is introducing Sam, his editor (Avital) to Max the sports caster and general foul-mouthed ignoramus (Schwimmer). IF the publisher is telling us the truth, doesn't this just kinda rule Max out of the contest for the first person to kiss the bride? Or have I missed something here?

This film is about as predictable as trying to guess which kind of white meat will feature most often on Thanksgiving dinner tables this year. I'll tell you; it will be turkey. And this movie sure is one.

But it is not just the plot and direction that are hugely lacking. Schwimmer is totally unbelievable and badly miscast as Max. His mouth moves, the words come out, but they lack any conviction whatsoever. The character of Jay the writer is such a whiney loser (with possibly the worst hairstyle in recent movie history) that I began to dread every screen appearance he made. He seemed to communicate in a series of whinging questions: "What are you doing here?" "So what??" "And??" I have absolutely no idea why the two of them were friends; they had nothing in common and were always bitching at each other. The script was very weak in places: Jay's explanation of why he had introduced Max to Sam provoked for me the biggest guffaw of the film (one of the very few). Best part of the film? The Harry Connick Jr. song over the opening credits.

Overall, it gets a 3; a waste of my time and money - it was I who was the FOOL for not reading Roger Ebert's review BEFORE going to the video shop. If you are looking for a nice romantic comedy get While You Were Sleeping, The Philadelphia Story, As Good As It Gets or anything else on the IMDb list of top 50 Romance films.

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6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Sweet... but ultimately nothing else...

Author: abyoussef from Alameda, CA
26 April 2005

by Dane Youssef

Now here is a movie that wants to be something successful by combining everything successful.

"Kissing A Fool" wants to be too many things. Can you mix successful ingredients and get the best of every world? "Kissing..." tries to be a '40's-style romantic comedy, a modern sex comedy and a sit-com at the same time.

Co-writer/Director Doug Ellin is a friend of Schwimmer's and Schwimmer has gone on and on about exactly how great it feels to shed his Ross-image and play the complete anti-Ross.

Jason Lee stars as Jay Murphy, a sensitive nice guy who's a romance novelist and is recovering from his latest breakup with a model named Natasha (played by TV's "Weird Science" Vanessa Angel). He has a sweet boy-next-door demeanor about him and his real problem is he's too nice and sensitive for his own good.

The worst part about being sensitive is that the world is so full of crap and garbage, people are such assholes that your feelings get hurt too often, too easy, too much. Better to be as cruel as the world or even more so and give worse than you get.

Believe me, I know of what I speak of.

David Schwimmer co-stars as Jay's best friend Max Abbitt, a sportscaster who's a womanizer who plays the field more than the teams reports on. A total creep and always with a dumb expression of his face, a self-satisfied drawl and his own cool-guy salutation: "What' up?" Always a toothpick and a "too cool" drawl dangling from his lip.

Mili Avital is unfortunately given the second-to-weakest developed character in the whole film. She's sweet, perky and photogenic... but nothing else, really. She and Lee could have some great chemistry if only the film allowed it. But this movie is written in a way that's so made-to-order, it's embarrassing.

Bonnie Hunt plays the narrator that is publishing Lee's book. She's also the narrator. Why does this movie need a narrator? The narration actually manages to make the movie even less suspenseful, if that's possible.

And Vanessa Angel, who broke through in TV's "Weird Science" and almost stole "Kingpin," is given the least interesting character. She plays a model and Jay's heartless ex-girlfriend who has dumped him and left him a pathetic neurotic mess. Hers is not a character, but a plot device. The heartless bitch who is so cruel and horrible to the sweet-hearted hero so more of our sympathy goes to him. I groaned at her scenes.

The movie's dialog is not always plot-driven or cutesy-poo, like most romantic comedies are (although sometimes it is).

Most of the script is written in an observational sit-com kind of way. Like "Seinfeld" or "Mad About You" (or yes, even "Friends"). But the dramatic/romantic scenes are embarrassingly maudlin.

Is it just me or is the entire cast of "Friends" been trying to mimic Kevin Smith?

* The Object of My Affection * Kissing A Fool * Three To Tango

Smith's groundbreaking romantic comedy "Chasing Amy" was revolutionary, insightful... and made big waves for Ben Affleck, Joey Lauren Adams, Lee and Smith himself. A romantic comedy, a sex comedy and a relationship story. Not merely a love story, but a life story.

Lately, Hollywood has been trying to make Smith-like slick Hollywood movies. So far, they failed terribly. Smith's movies are great because they are daring and avoid formulas. And they master the art of sparkling conversation. This film does neither. Nor do any of the other Kevin Smith-wannabes.

Lee's character has been through the ringer and things are looking bleaker. I really liked him here and felt for him. And identified with him more than I wanted to.

I knew guys like Max in high school, but in the outside world? Who knows? I was kind of like the Lee character myself. In a way, I still am. Too sensitive. Too easily vulnerable. Such a whipping boy. I did understand what Jay meant when he said, "You know, I wish I had your heart. Then I wouldn't have spent so many sleepless nights...."

The plot seems cruel and creepy, yet too sit-com-like at the same time. "Test my fiancée''s fidelity?" Almost seems like a sick ploy to throw Jay & Samantha together, doesn't it?

Oh wait, it is...

Anyone who has ever seen a movie will know what the ending will be. It's almost like waiting for the coyote to fall off the cliff.

Schwimmer's Max Abbit character seems to dumb and dull and annoying to be interesting. He must be sick of playing the same type ("The Pallbearer," "Six Days, Seven Nights" and TV's "Friends"), but this movie will do nothing for him. Still, at least he tried.

I kept (back in 1999 when I first saw this movie) seeing a mad Ross trying to be bad whenever I looked at him, but now looking back on it and putting Ross out of my head (I really dislike the show anyway), Schwimmer does an effective job... however he doesn't really have dimensions and depth.

He's just not an interesting womanizer. Apparently, a lot of Schwimmer fans felt confused by his role here.

It feels like Schwimmer wants to play someone completely different without risking losing his hard-core audience.

Schwimmer does do a much better job breaking typecasting in the forgettable "Since You've Been Gone" and the memorable "Band of Brothers."

MEMO TO Hollywood: If you're gonna keep making bad Kevin Smith-knockoffs, at lest quit putting "Friends" actors in them.

--Kissing Off This One, Dane Youssef

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Fairly entertaining.

Author: insomniac_rod from Noctropolis
3 February 2007

I didn't have expectations for this one. I watched it on LATE local t.v. But the cast really had me intrigued. David Schwimmer, Jason Lee, the beautiful Mili Avital, Vanessa Angel, Mili Avital among others deliver a great performance. The cast is really good and seems that they had great chemistry between them.

The movie had the occasional funny situations and some smart dialogs. Then I thought I was watching an episode of "Friends". The acting, dialogs, and even direction made this look like a sitcom.

Still I have a good time with this movie. It's funny and romantic at some points. Of course, with the typical American humor.

Give it a try, I can see why it's considered to be an underrated comedy.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

totally dislikeable

Author: dogcow from United States
29 December 2000

every character in this film is totally dislikeable, I very rarely agree with Leonard Maltin but this movie is definitely awful. The David Schwimmer character is more likeable than the Jason Lee character but not very much, which doesnt work because Lee is supposedly the "hero" of the story. He's whining, pathetic and annoying. In reality, neither deserves to get the girl.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

I gave this movie a four. why?

Author: changingshades ( from St Petersburg Florida
4 December 2000

Because the only redeemable quality in this film is Jason Lee. His brand of comedy is one of those who you either love or hate. David Schwimmer is the worst I have ever seen him in this movie. Go see All the rage if you want to see him as a good actor. Even his work on Friends is better. This movie is only to be watched if your girlfriend makes you.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Good, Kevin Smith-ish type comedy

Author: Robert Clarke from Wrexham, North Wales
6 May 1999

Very much on the same lines as a Kevin Smith movie, if you enjoyed Mallrats and Chasing Amy then you should find this entertaining enough. It even has Smith 'regular' Jason Lee in the cast alongside David Scwimmer, who is surprisingly good, and unknown beauty Mili Avital, who is very impressive in the first film I have ever seen her in. The story centres on 2 friends who have been friends since they were kids. They are constantly setting each other up with their female acquaintances, enter Avital, Lee's boss, who has a big effect on both of them!. You will have seen this formula many times before and maybe better, but if you are looking for a genuinely funny 80 - odd minutes, look no further.

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Not bad at all

Author: Boyo-2
19 August 1999

I enjoyed this movie far more than I thought I would. Both male leads give good performances (I never doubted they were really friends, which is rare in a movie) and there were many funny moments, a lot of which came from Bonnie Hunt. The only character that seemed underdeveloped and forced was Natasha - Jason Lee's ex. Their scenes together didn't do much for the movie.

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David Schwimmer Stud??

Author: SnoopyStyle
27 September 2013

The story is told as a flashback from Linda Streicher (Bonnie Hunt) at their wedding. Max (David Schwimmer) is a womanizing sleaze. Jay (Jason Lee) is his best friend. Jay introduces Sam (Mili Avital) from work to Max and they hit it right off. Three weeks later, they are set to marry.

David Schwimmer is completely miscast as the womanizing stud who's every girl's dream. Somebody really needs to stub him with that toothpick. Maybe they should have switched his role with Jason Lee.

And without any spoilers, let's just say the scheme breaks all kinds of bro code. And it's completely manufactured strictly for rom-coms. The jokes all fall flat.

Mili Avital is functional as the lead, but considering they had the much funnier Judy Greer, and hotter Kari Wuhrer in the same movie, she pales in comparison.

Jason Lee is the only one that does a great job. He plays a slightly nerdy lovable writer. Only he needs better partners to play opposite to.

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Gaze upon the awesome spectacle of Jason Lee's unibrow...if you dare!

Author: MBunge from Waterloo, Iowa
1 July 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Making a movie is a complex affair when many things can go wrong and nobody may care about the things that go right. Filmmakers and studios are driven mad by audiences who embrace crap and turn their nose up at something good. Even given this difficult uncertainty, there's no excuse for the litany of plainly obvious mistakes and misjudgments of Kissing a Fool. The things that are wrong with this motion picture are so glaringly wrong that it is inconceivable how no one noticed them. This sort of fiasco doesn't just get people fired, it should actually end careers.

The plot here is almost as old as fiction itself. A guy falls in love with his best friend's fiancée. The guy in this instance is Jay (Jason Lee), a passive mope who is still devastated after being dumped by his ex-girlfriend and is writing a novel about the miserable experience. His best friend is Max (David Schwimmer), a Chicago sportscaster and all around hound dog who, of course, is the exact opposite of Jay in every way. The fiancée is Sam (Mili Avitai), the editor of Jay's book. Jay introduces Sam to Max, they fall instantly into love, move in together and start talking marriage.

Let me stop with the plot and explain how this movie goes into the crapper right away and never gets out. First, it opens with Sam getting married to somebody but we can't see who. We're then introduced to Linda (Bonnie Hunt) who claims to have introduced the newlyweds and proceeds to explain how they got together to a couple of fellow wedding guests, essentially narrating the story as it appears in flashbacks. The whole point of this structure is to create a mystery as to whether Sam ends up with Max or Jay. Yet before you realize there's supposed to be a mystery, Linda says she introduced the newlyweds and then we see her introducing Jay and Sam. So, anyone with half a brain has to assume that Jay and Sam are the ones who got married and absolutely nothing, not even Max and Sam getting engaged, ever causes you to reconsider that assumption. There's never a single second when it seems like Sam might end up with anyone other than Jay, but the film still carries out the non-existent mystery until the very end.

Secondly, Jason Lee is playing the sympathetic guy in a romantic triangle…and he has a unibrow. It's not an ordinary unibrow, either. It's one where his eyebrows not only meet but take sharp turns and crawl down the bridge of his nose. It's so hideous you can hardly even notice anything else when Lee is on screen. Lee isn't exactly a matinée idol to begin with and here he's made to look physically repellent.

Those two blatant errors strangle Kissing a Fool in its crib. It wouldn't have mattered how good everything else was, it was doomed from the start by those two awful and inept creative choices. And they're both such easily avoided problems. Simply have Linda say she knows the married couple instead of introduced them and there could have at least theoretically been a mystery. Pluck Lee's eyebrows every morning before shooting began and at least the audience wouldn't have been distracted by looking at Lee and expecting him to start strumming a banjo and squealing like a pig.

It ultimately doesn't matter because the rest of the movie stinks on ice. Apparently realizing they weren't talented enough to do anything with the old "two people are perfect for each other but neither wants to betray a third person" shtick, they add in a twist that sounds like something Aaron Sorkin would have resorted to if Sports Night has lasted another season or two. Max wants to test the fidelity of his fiancée, so he asks Jay to see if he can get Sam to want to sleep with him. The filmmakers also include an appearance by Jay's horrible ex-girlfriend and give Max an ex-girlfriend he's constantly hanging around with for no explicable reason. They even throw in a female cousin (Judy Greer) visiting Sam and staying at her house, as though giving each main character an annoying chick to deal with somehow made it funny.

Compounding the suck is that Max is a far more interesting and dynamic than Jay and also happens to be the one who pushes the narrative along. When the third wheel of your romantic triangle is the most proactive character in the film, that's a problem.

Bonnie Hunt and David Schwimmer are both quite good here, particularly Schwimmer, who demonstrates the comedic skills that could have led him to an entirely different career if he hadn't been cemented in the public's mind as "Ross from Friends".

Kissing a Fool is a misconceived mistake that people should have seen coming a mile away. Unless you have a thing for guys with unibrows, don't bother watching it.

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