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This is not a biting Hollywood satire, and I'm sure there were some missed
opportunities to poke fun at the biz. But as long as that's not what
expecting, you should have lots of fun.
I'm an avid Billy Crystal fan, and though he's not the star of the film, I was really looking forward to this movie--being that he also co-wrote the script. There are some trademark zingers you'd anticipate from the Oscar's favorite MC: "Sixty pounds? That's a Backstreet Boy."
The cast is superb. Hank Azaria, like always, steals the show. He is absolutely hilarious as Catherine Zeta-Jones' new Spanish lover. There is a great scene near the end where he gets outraged at a rumor of his inadequate "size." Just like his role as the flamboyant butler in "The Birdcage" he brings out tons of laughs, taking on a phony accent. He really is a man of extraordinary talent. John Cusack shows us his more...goofy side. I've always enjoyed him in past movies, but he usually plays the straight man. This was something different. Well, I guess you can say he plays the straight man, but he stumbles into all sorts of slapstick situations that causes him to overreact in comic fashions. And he's great at it! Julia Roberts is...well...Julia Roberts. I have nothing against Julia, but I don't patronize her in the same way others do. I don't think she's the most beautiful woman and I don't think she's the most brilliant actress. But I'm sure many were looking forward to this movie because of Julia, and if you're one of those people, you won't be disappointed. Catherine Zeta-Jones is extremely beautiful, but she is so great as the whiny, bitchy ex-wife of Cusack/spoiled actress that I wanted to stab her every moment she was on screen. Alan Arkin is funny as the pretentious, preposterous spiritual healer. There is a great deleted scene with him and Cusack over the phone, while Arkin rides the streets of Vegas in a pink convertible. Those renting the DVD--don't skip the deleted scenes! And last but not least, Christopher Walken (Da Man!) has a brief but memorable appearance as reclusive director Hal Wideman.
Don't expect any surprises. The story's as predictable as can be. The whole movie is superficial fluff. But it's enjoyable superficial fluff. If you just want to kick back, have some good laughs, without having to kill any brain cells--curl up on the couch with your man or woman and watch "America's Sweethearts."
My score: 7 (out of 10)
Normally, who is married to/engaged to/dating who in the movie world is
something that I couldn't possibly care less about, and I still don't care,
but America's Sweethearts manages to make that very subject amusing and
entertaining. John Cusack and Catherine Zeta-Jones play Eddie Thomas and
Gwen Harrison, two movie stars who have been tremendously successful working
together and who have worked their way into the heart of the American
public. The conflict comes from their highly publicized breakup, which has
resulted in two consecutive box office failures for Gwen and some serious
psychological problems for Eddie.
Stanley Tucci takes on a small but very effective role as Dave Kingman, the short tempered studio executive, furious with Christopher Walken's much more entertaining Hal Weidmann, the introverted filmmaker who sent Kingman the first print of his film (after charging $86 million of the studio's money), which consisted of nothing but titles and the hilarious message, `We could also do these in blue.' Kingman throws a predictable but very funny tantrum. We spend the rest of the film wondering why Weidmann is so cocky toward Kingman and so close-mouthed about the film, but we are rewarded in the final act.
Julia Roberts comes back in an ironic role when compared to her recent (and far superior) role in Notting Hill, in which she was America's Sweetheart who had fallen in love with a regular guy. Here, she is the constantly unnoticed sister of Gwen Harrison, her big movie star sister. Both women are perfectly cast as the famous movie star and the famous movie star's sister, but this is more a testament to their abilities as actors than it is to the ingenuity of the casting director. The acting was just excellent. Hank Azaria plays the part of Hector (`This is bull-chit!'), the over-the-top Spanish guy with the hilarious lisp that Gwen has been seeing ever since her rough break up with Eddie. Hector is an amusing character, but it is obvious from the first scene where we see him (in which he insists that he and Gwen will `go to the hunket' together.') that he is an expendable character. He's funny, but he still badly mangled the Spanish accent as well as the lisp, coming off as amusing but impossible to take seriously.
The entire romantic subplot of the film was predictable from the very beginning, if only because it was given away in its entirety in the theatrical trailer. If you have ever heard of this movie before watching it, then you've already seen the emotional scene where Kiki (Roberts) tells Eddie that that woman that he saw standing by the spa that he had to spend the rest of his life with was her, and not her sister Gwen. From that perspective, America's Sweethearts is one of those movies where if you've seen the preview, you've seen the movie (take Pleasantville as another example).
Christopher Walken provides an excellent source of comic relief as well as one of the only really interesting characters in the film. He is the nutty filmmaker (indeed, the best films almost unwaveringly come from the people who are a little off') who edits his films in the Unabomber's cabin, which he had moved onto his property, and who indeed created a truly memorable film, of which we unfortunately are only able to see a small portion. `The Blair Bitch Project,' as the press later calls it, is a kind of film that would be really interesting. The tabloids would have a field day.
There are a lot of sight gags and low brow humor in America's Sweethearts, and it is reported to bear a striking resemblance to Singin' In The Rain (although remains far inferior to that classic musical comedy), but it manages to keep the audience entertained if not hanging on every word. True film fanatics are sure to pick it apart for nearly feeding off of classic films and for following such a clear-cut formula, but there is definitely something to be enjoyed here.
Gwen (Catherine Zeta Jones) and Eddie (John Cusack) are America's
favourite sweetheart couple, but since breaking up Eddie has had a
breakdown and Gwen's career is floundering. Their latest movie is
shortly due for release and their press agent Lee (Billy Crystal) with
the help of Gwen's sister Kiki (Julie Roberts) have to get them back
together and promote the movie.
Written and produced by Billy Crystal 'America's Sweethearts' is a good giggle, and has some fine performances from Cusack, Crystal, Roberts and Jones (Although Catherine Zeta Jones's performance as a press hungry b*tch, is maybe a little too believable). For me though the ending makes the movie, its not entirely what your expecting and Christopher Walken, helps to bring the closing scenes to life, with his patented brand of acting genius.
Worth a watch 7/10
When I saw this movie in the theater, I left a bit disappointed, which is hard to say because I love Julia Roberts. For some reason, it just did not click. However, when it came out on video, I watched it again and I laughed so hard I couldn't believe it was the same movie. It just worked so much better at home on the small screen. So my advice to anyone who saw it in the theater and was not struck by it, try it again as a rental and you may be surprised. And of course, if you haven't seen it, I do recommend it, for it is a fun movie and is actually quite entertaining, especially if you like the stars, which most people do.
And I mean ultra light. This film features four giant stars, about three
and a half jokes and nothing beyond that.
There really isn't too much to say about this stinker, other than that although it has a couple of really good bits, most of it isn't very funny. Nor does it work at all as a romance. How about as a romantic comedy? Not on your life. Most of the dialogue is way too flat to be sophisticated, much less amusing.
What's really ashame is the premise is not bad at all. This movie could have been so much more, especially with all the recent focus on some of the bogus ways in which films are promoted, complete with phony quotes from critics. The film uncovers the un-mined territory of the press junket -- those all expense paid trips for journalists who almost always write nice reviews. But instead of exploring what should have been a motherlode of jokes, it devotes all of about three minutes to this territory and moves on in pursuit of the film's lame romance.
The same with Catherine Zeta-Jones' character -- the whinny, self centered movie star. Zeta-Jones does a good job with what she's given, but she's given practically nothing. It's all homogenized junk that looks very pale in comparison with some of the things we've heard about stars over the years.
In the end, it is hard to understand what made Zeta-Jones, Julia Roberts, John Cusack and Billy Crystal sign aboard this doomed ship, which sinks like a rerun of "The Love Boat." In fact, as the old joke goes, they should have forgotten the script and filmed the deal. It would probably make a better story. So, go ahead and tell us, filmmakers, what do you have on these stars that got them to appear in this?
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
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.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
indeed is John Cusack doing in this heap of crap? He's a truly gifted performer and writer plus he's extremely beautiful and has views I respect. I love the man but his judgement is so sorely lacking in accepting a role in this rubbish. Catherine Zeta Jones would be over stretching her abilities as an actress in a junior school production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. She's dreadful and should stick to attending movie star bashes with her dad, no, sorry, he's her husband. At least he can bloody act. Perhaps she should consider taking a few lessons from him before her looks fade and she's got absolutely nothing to offer. Don't bother watching this film. You'll resent the time you wasted.
I like every actor in this movie, but not in this film, an endless series of crotch and penis jokes (oops, the film is dragging, so let's insert another one to perk it up). The audience of mostly women, young and old, was completely silent throughout the movie. MY wife and I have seen every chick flick this year, even the ones that were panned by critics, and we liked them all. But this movie is as bad as it gets. How bad? Worse than the Avengers! Worse than Duets. Worse than Heavens Gate. (Actually, I'm such a softy, I enjoyed parts of all three of those bombs.) Worse than any recent Diane Keaton, Steve Martin, or Alan Alda movie. Worse than even Adam Sandler at his worst. The actors looked totally embarrassed speaking their lines, as if their careers were being placed in immediate jeopardy. The only funny part of the movie was unintentional: when Chris Walken tells the press that the script was worthless, so he threw it out and substituted hidden camera footage. Wish they could have done that here. Watching any of these talented people in candid dressing room footage would have been funnier and more romantic.
SO I just finished watching this movie a couple of days ago. The reason
I watched it because Julia Roberts was in it and shes one of my
favorite actresses. Here is a short summary of whats it about, Well it
starts with a famous Hollywood couple that is going through a divorce,
and a movie director who lost his job and has the chance to get it back
if he can bring John Cusack's character and Zeta Jones character back
to together. Julia Roberts' character is Zeta Jones sister in the movie
and happens to to get with John Cusack's character because she always
had a crush on him and John Cusack has always liked her.
Well the movie was good, it wasn't great. Yes most people will watch it because of the cast and not like it. Christopher Walken steals the show as always in the beginning and end, with short scenes. There are some really funny scenes, but thats about it. The plot of the movie is okay nothing excitint.
I give it 6 out of 10 stars. I would at least give it a chance if your fan of any of the actors in this film, or if you like that type of genre.
As a fan of Julia Roberts, John Cusak, and Catherine Zeta Jones, I found this movie a total bore! Did this movie ever make it to theaters? It looks like something that would go straight to video. No wonder I had never heard of it before. A joke!
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