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Little Black Book
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Little Black Book More at IMDbPro »

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Little Black Bleh

4/10
Author: tex-42
27 August 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Little Black Book has a lot of things, there is some romance, some deception and a little comedy added for flavor. However, the movie suffers from a dearth of generally likable characters.

The plot is relatively simple. Stacey (Murphy) is trying to find her place in life, and comes to work at a daytime talk show as an associate producer. She is happy with her boyfriend and job. Then one day, an associate, Barb, take an idea that was pitched during a meeting, little black books, and suggests Stacey go through her boyfriends and find out about his ex-girlfriends. Stacey, using the show as a guise, interviews the women, befriends one, and slowly comes to find that her boyfriend is not what he seems and their relationship is not as happy as she thought it was. This all comes to a climax on the talk show, where Barb has set Stacey up, and a confrontation between Stacey, her boyfriend and his ex-girlfriends occurs.

The problem of this movie is that most of the characters are not particularly sympathetic. Stacey comes off as neurotic, paranoid and generally dysfunctional. There is no reason to really root for her to succeed. Her boyfriend comes off as a louse. Barb is simply cruel. The only one who is really sympathetic is one of the ex-girlfriends played by Julianne Nicholson. Her character is fleshed out in a way none of the others are.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Holly Hunter Jumps the Shark!

1/10
Author: ldavis-2 from I am here. Where are you?
28 January 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Saw this on FX, and as one of the posters put it, this was painful. Not just painful, but squirm-in-your-seat painful! The "payoff" is the kind of cruelty usually reserved for snuff films!

The whole Carly Simon/Diane Sawyer bit was more painful. What's with this weird obsession with Working Girl, which should never be confused with Broadcast News. Holly Hunter must be wondering how she got from that to this!

As far as the "plot": who keeps pictures of his exes on his Palm (and shares "joint custody" of his dog with one of them), and what does that say about his commitment to his current squeeze?

By the way, what qualifies Derek as an NHL scout? Because he has a hockey stick in his apartment? Well, I happen to own the first stick Wayne Gretzky used as a pro, which - according to this stinker - qualifies me to be Commissioner! Shouldn't he actually have played hockey? And be a Canadian, eh? But, I digress.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Bad, Movie, Bad! Possible Spoilers.

1/10
Author: LadyJaneGrey from Planet Earth
18 October 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Putrid. Bad acting, directing, storyline. The story had a lot of promise, along with a cast including Holly Hunter and Kathy Bates. Ron Livingston as her boyfriend is about as charming here as he was as Post-It-Note break-up artist Jack Berger on Sex and the City. Brittany Murphy is too charisma-free to carry a starring role. She was fabulous in Clueless, I loved her in it, as a secondary character part. Romantic lead, no, no, and NO. I just could not stand her in this role. Way too much Carly Simon music. Unbelievable ending, landing a job with Diane Sawyer and meeting Carly Simon on the same day. My opinion of this movie has nothing to do with it not being a typical "happy ending" movie where the girl and guy live happily ever after. Lots of truly great movies have endings like that (Casablanca to name just one). It is just bad bad bad. Kathy Bates looks lobotomized through this movie; perhaps she was hypnotized by the paycheck. The only good thing in it was Kevin Sussman. Take a pass.

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6 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

No.

3/10
Author: refresh daemon from United States
3 February 2007

Watching this movie was a little black mistake. Starring Brittany Murphy and... well... that's really all I need to say, isn't it? The movie is bogged down by beginning-screenwriter-style exposition at the start, all of which screamed, "Sorry that I couldn't actually find a real movie to fill up this space, but this stuff is really funny and you can relate to it, right?" Now the opening sequence is supposed to make you like and care for Brittany Murphy's character. In fact, if that fails, the rest of the movie is bound to fail.

It failed.

I just didn't care about her and her pathetic little life. Party Girl did a much better job of pulling the whole "existential" story-trapped-in-a-woman's-empty-life and even Legally Blonde did a far better of job of using the love hook to help a character examine herself and how she values herself. But the ending and the changes as they occur in the film are all pretty contrived. Furthermore the direction messed up some of the alleged jokes in the film, accidentally giving away the unfunny punchlines before the jokes were thrown.

Good job guys. In the end (and the beginning and the middle) the movie falls flat on its face, like Ms. Murphy's antics. I should've bailed on this one when I had the chance. 3/10.

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8 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

What is this film about?

2/10
Author: meetjopeblack from Philippines
15 April 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Is it a parody of reality shows? Is it a love story? Is it a satire on media and new technology? Is it a prolonged music video of Carly Simon's songs? Is it about man's relationship with cosmic forces? I don't know. Forty minutes into the film and I still don't know where this film is heading. Hackneyed editing and dull voice overs, didn't do much to save the film. The movie wants to be brisk but it ended up losing the first forty minutes to nothing. The conflict started only at the 40 minute mark! Actually, this is the only commendable part in the movie--when the lead star was asking her friend about truth and lies in a relationship! After the famous verbal-hit-all-spill-all battle royale in the K-show, it's a downward spiral again when cosmic forces are called in to give a romantic twist in the movie.

There were thought-provoking questions though like, "if you're totally fulfilled in a relationship and found out that (the guy) cheated on you, would everything be a lie?" (sic) That's something noteworthy to ponder about. But after all your musings, this film fails to deliver what it aims to give.

What is the 'little black book'? Maybe the director and screenwriter left the answer in their own little black books. Won't recommend you see this.

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8 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Slight comedy

2/10
Author: ctomvelu from usa
8 January 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Formulaic, lightweight comedy

-- so lightweight it almost floats off into thin air -- about an insecure chick (pop-eyed, pencil-thin Brittany Murphy) who sneaks a peek in her boyfriend's (somber Ron Livingston) Palm and definitely doesn't like what she finds there. Before she is done, she has managed to corral three of his former gal pals and they along with the boyfriend appear as unwitting guests on a Sally Jesse Raphael (Kathy Bates) -type TV talk show

where much dirty laundry is exposed, thanks to the machinations of an evil show producer (steely-jawed Holly Hunter). It's a paycheck, I suppose, but what in the hell

is Oscar winner Kathy Bates doing in 'tween' crap like this?

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9 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

A chick flick evens the chicks didn't like

6/10
Author: George Parker from Orange County, CA USA
29 March 2005

"Little Black Book" examines the foibles of one young woman (Murphy) who decides to "research" her significant other's prior romantic life as an adjunct to a TV reality talk show (think Jerry Springer) and learns some unexpected lessons in life in the process. A lively, fun, and occasionally poignant little bit of chick flick fluff, this movie suffered at the hands of critics, public, and chicks perhaps because people like a little romance with their romantic comedies and "LBB" has none to offer. An unexpectedly busy little story to nowhere which takes the chick flick milieu off course and into a sort of genre-bending neverland, this film seems to be trying to conjure some vague moral which never quite crystallizes. Nevertheless, Murphy and Hunter make capable bookends shoring up a pleasant assortment of side characters while the story slowly erodes their best efforts. Recommended for fans of the players but don't expect the usual satisfying romcom fare. Expect a Palm Pilot commercial instead. (C+)

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9 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Wow was that crap and a half

2/10
Author: OmGradGal from United States
23 January 2005

If i wasn't in the middle of a blizzard and had nothing else to do, Id demand the last 2 hrs of my life back.

Since you people generally like reasons for why stuff was crap: No plot line, pseudo-self discovery in what was supposed to be a romantic comedy, the self-discovery fell on its face hard, and in one scene stacy and barb start dancing around a room for NO reason. This was BAD. I wouldn't have finished it but i always see a movie through to its (in the case) incredibly craptacular end.

What I'm guessing was the point of the movie: Buy a palm and get Carly Simon cds.

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10 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

An Amazing Waste of Resources! (Spoiler!!!)

2/10
Author: debox-1 from United States
10 January 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie was libeled and advertised as a "romantic comedy." In reality, it was anything but that! If you take your boyfriend or husband to see this dark tale, you are sure to be free and single again! The movie is centered on a Jerry Springer-type live television show, not exactly the place for nurturing love and peace. The whole movie seemed to be based on crying, paranoid, scheming, emotionally-erratic women. My wife and I considered that a big put down to women in general. The film spent a lot of time on how flawed the female lead character (Brittany Murphy) was and seemed to have an endless number of scenes of her terrible deeds. Incredibly, the character, despite walking off her job and doing terrible things to almost very character, gets rewarded by a new job with major network news and a chance meeting with her favorite singer. This is so far-fetched, only Hollywood-types could dream it up. What major network news organization would hire a associate producer, of a local market Springer-type show, who walked off the job after demonstrating her treacherous nature on the air? If you want a better film to watch check out Working Girl with Harrison Ford.

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11 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Please Throw The Book At Me...

3/10
Author: K-Slicer from In A Confined Space
24 August 2004

...and give me a black eye. Of any and all pieces of media that I have ever seen, heard, touched, tasted and smelled, this is the worst piece to have the word 'black' in the title. There was no book, and it wasn't black. If it was meant to be a 'black comedy', then it fell on its face because it stumbled over a black cat. I shall cease the punspeak and continue my commentary in the accepted normalspeak.

There are some decent aspects to this pile of bunk and those reading this shall be spoiled: (1) Kathy Bates was probably the only ray of sunshine in this hopeless crock. She was sadly underplayed in my mind and she should have stolen this away from the cutesy starlet. (2) I have to say that Holly Hunter is still in top form. She can play a conniving b**** better than anyone that I have seen in quiet some time. While she isn't up there with Sharon Stone, she did prove the point that certain parts of the working world require backstabbing to survive. If an actor can make a philosophical point and make it well, then the performance is well-done I believe. (3) Extending the second reason, the climatic sequence was the best in the film. It came from nowhere in my mind considering certain hints were being dropped (Hunter's going-along with the plan, the Working Girl movie poster, Ira's obsession of the little black book idea). Maybe a more astute viewer could have seen it but I did not. I believe it was carefully plotted, written, acted, and filmed in order to incite a deep emotional reaction from the viewer. Is it just me or did the entire cast and crew read Aristotle before the sequence was shot? I could be missing the point but I am from the school that suggests philosophy is the underpinning of all human understanding. Three reasons give a score of three.

Now for the negativity: (1) Brittany Murphy blows like an untied balloon. She blows like the bitter cold winds that sweep across the high plains of North Dakota in the dead of winter. She can't act and she hasn't acted well in anything (except for Just Married, that was funny). I think this role could have been better for someone like Scarlett Johannsen. If she dyed her red locks blonde and chopped it short, she could pass as a Diane Sawyer wannabe. (2) What has happened to Ron Livingston? He is truly a no-hit wonder as far as I can tell. His best performance was in Office Space but that was a defeaningly silent failure at the box office. He had no heart in this movie despite whatever extending circumstances might have caused not to have it. (3) Carly Simon was used and abused in this movie. Maybe it was a mutual you-save-my-relevance-to-history-while-I-can-fill-up-my-bank-account-kind-of-agreement. Plainly, I believe the greatest chanteuse of the 1970's is trying to extend her relevance span much like Styx did with Adam Sandler in 1999's Big Daddy. It's pure exploitation for the sake of keeping the cash cow happy. (4) I hated the premise of this movie from the outset. Why can't the heads behind this film realize that the biggest questions cannot be answered? The question is, should past secrets stay buried or be revealed? The answer is BOTH, end of story! It depends on every relationship and every circumstance involving those relationships. She should have let the situation alone despite everything else involved and the world would have been at ease. That is why I hate doubt; when you are at ease, everything is right with the world. (5) I leave the psychobabble for more common sense themes. I hated how the character of Joyce got screwed because she was the one we were meant to root for. In fact, the other two women (the self-absorbed doctor and the shallow, vane model) didn't deserve the screwing either. While the situation was complex from the outset, they didn't deserve any of the attention. If you are outside the situation regardless of your flaws, then you don't deserve to be sucked in and then burned at the stake. The characters Murphy and Hunter played both deserved to be burned at the stake. (6) This movie attempted black comedy and failed miserably. It tried to express some opinions on the insatiable American appetite of reality TV and the cruelty of the world of television. I would think films like Network and Broadcast News (even Ringmaster with Jerry Springer) would profess those opinions in better ways. If this movie had marketed itself as that and the heads behind this film went more the jugular, this movie would been much better. I think if James L. Brooks had at least directed this movie and cast somebody like Holly Hunter or Scarlet Johannsen in the main role, then we might have something to talk about. (7) The ending was a farce so nothing more needs to be voiced.

Overall, this movie bites and I felt cheated for the most part. I did laugh in a few places but it just made me cringe over and over again. Somebody treated me out, so I waited until the end of the horror to make my opinions known to the world. When it's free, who says you can complain? If anyone out there has a little black book, burn it now so your significant other can never find it. If you are in a relationship that is more worthy than anything you had prior, why hold on to the past? It's the kind of stuff that makes Hollywood rob us of our hard-earned money.

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