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Ben Holmes, a professional book-jacket blurbologist, is trying to get to Savannah for his wedding. He just barely catches the last plane, but a seagull flies into the engine as the plane is taking off. All later flights are cancelled because of an approaching hurricane, so he is forced to hitch a ride in a Geo Metro with an attractive but eccentric woman named Sara. Written by
Tim Horrigan <email@example.com>
In "Forces of Nature," Ben Affleck stars as Ben, a repressed, buttoned-up stuffed shirt writer who, through a series of natural and manmade mishaps, ends up spending the several days before his impending marriage in the company of a freespirited, totally spontaneous and liberated young woman named Sarah, played by Sandra Bullock.
For the vast majority of the film's running time, the screenplay follows the conventions of the opposites-attract scenario almost slavishly. The script even provides Ben's fiancee with an overly-convenient replacement in the form of a now-hunky childhood friend she has not seen in years who rekindles sparks with her on the eve of the wedding.
Thus, the stage is set for the predictable true love romantic finale. But, damn, if the writers don't pull the rug out from under us and shatter the time-honored cliche. This is particularly surprising because, up to now, the film has exhibited no trace of iconoclasm in either its plot or character development. In fact, the screenplay is less a full-fledged narrative than a series of photographic montage sequences strung lazily together as Ben and Sarah engage in one cutesy situation and encounter after another. Thus, the unconventionality of the resolution comes as an even more stunning surprise than it otherwise might.
Affleck and Bullock are very appealing as two young people who complement each other's strengths and weaknesses and who learn to offer one another valuable life lessons. "Forces of Nature" emerges as one of those rare films that is, perhaps bizarrely, actually better in retrospect than in the watching.
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