In the midst of a nasty public breakup of married movie stars, a studio publicist scrambles to put a cap on the escalating situation as the couple's latest film has found its only print kidnapped by the director. Written by
When Kiki is in the bath, the splashing sounds don't match her movements. See more »
America first fell in love with Eddie Thomas and Gwen Harrison in the box office smash "Autumn With Greg And Peg". They had the most celebrated marriage in Hollywood. Who could forget how they hit one out of the park in "Requiem for an Outfielder"?
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Joe Roth's "America's Sweethearts" starts off as an edgy dark comedy about the movie promotion business, then veers off into a conventional romantic comedy which better serves the talents of John Cusack, Julia Roberts and Catherine Zeta-Jones. This tangential storyline was written by Billy Crystal (also one the stars) and Lee Philips. The premise is very promising. America's Movie Sweethearts, Eddie Thomas (Cusack) and Gwen Harrison (Catherine Zeta-Jones), are no longer-- they are getting a divorce.
In fact Gwen has a restraining order on Eddie following their dramatic break-up. Gwen is shacked up with a Spaniard dancer, Hector (an embarrassing loser role played by Hank Azaria). Eddie now resides in a spiritual retreat following his meltdown. However, Eddie and Gwen made one last movie with eccentric genius, reclusive director Hal Weidmann (perfectly played by Christopher Walken). No one has seen the film which looks to be a rip-off of Jean-Claude Van Damme's "Time Cop". Weidmann professes this unseen movie is his greatest work. Studio Exec., Dave Kingman (Stanley Tucci), convinces promotions expert, Lee Philips (Crystal) whom he fired, to stay on and orchestrate the press junket for the movie. To bring the estranged Eddie and Gwen together, Lee enlists the aid of Kiki Harrison (Roberts) who is not only Gwen's "doormat" sister, but also her personal assistant. We soon learn that big hearted Kiki has always loved Eddie.
The movie industry inside jokes and details surrounding press junkets are great in the beginning of the movie. Though this wastes time in what is predictably a romance. Tucci's ruthless and humorless exec. is way too dark a character for this movie. Hector (Azaria) is a total waste of time here. For the amount of talent involved in this project it is amazing how much useless overhead is in the movie. Don't get me wrong here entirely-- I did enjoy the movie. What saves the movie are the wonderful talents of John Cusack and his natural chemistry with Julia Roberts. Zeta-Jones is believable as the self-absorbed ice bitch, Gwen-- let's hope that she does not make a habit of these kinds of roles. Julia Roberts is not stretching here as the good hearted, smart, and plain sister of movie star, Gwen. Though Roberts unquestionably has the movie star quality-- she enchants on screen. Cusack is the quirky romantic leading man of the Milennium, and plays Eddie with a bewilderment and smarts. You always get a sense of what's swirling in Cusack's Eddie's head. He is aware of his emotional instability, while promoting a movie he has never seen, with a woman he is no longer with. And the woman of his life is right in front of his face-- Kiki. Duh! Cusack is totally charming in his journey from cluelessness. Ultimately, he and Roberts make Sweethearts worth watching-- which is saying quite a lot.
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