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|Index||117 reviews in total|
I want you to understand that I watch a lot of movies, and I do toss
the phrase "worst movie ever" around, but mostly in a joking way. But,
in the case of 'Little Black Book' I am serious when I say that it is
by far the worst movie I have ever had the horror of witnessing. Lets
start with the screenplay itself. Its really an intriguing idea, an
innocent young woman descends into a lying, malicious person out of
self-doubt and the fear that her man is cheating. It's not your typical
regurgitated summer romance. It tries to be a character study, a
commentary about the self-doubt that plagues women in our society, and
a warning to women in the same situation as Stacy (Murphy).
Unfortunately, the movie is none of the above listed things. Stacy narrates the movie and instead of accepting herself for what she is, she ends up pleading with the audience, trying to convince herself, and the audience that she is not a completely horrible person, which really undermines the whole story. Murphy is not fit for this part, she comes off as shallow and delivers most of the poorly written dialogue as a stupid school girl. Really, the only bright spot in this movie is when Stacy gets what is coming to her (I laughed actually) and Holly Hunter. Hunter plays Stacy's co-worker Barb, who is always the devil on her shoulder, egging her on to worse and worse deeds. She is simply perfect for the role and is thoroughly evil.
All in all, this was a complete waste of time and money, I would encourage all to not only avoid this movie but to run the other way.
This was a terrible waste of money and time. There was only one likable character (Derek's girlfriend Joyce). Everyone else was either evil or juvenile. I was wanting all of these people, except one, to fall over dead and end this horrible film. Brittany Murphy overacts beyond description and is completely irritating. Holly Hunter's tough, world-wise character was repulsive...she looked awful and tired throughout. Kathy Bates cashed the paycheck she received and ran...she looked like she hated this film as much as I did. Hollywood shows by this movie how much contempt they have for the moviegoer...they put out this garbage and know at least some will fall for it (shame on me). To sum up...read a book, call a friend, do anything but see this movie!
After viewing this movie, I'd have to say that it was probably the worst decision of my recent past to spend money on it. This movie is just god-awful. Brittany Murphy portrays a girlfriend who is crafty and intuitive but at the same time clueless. Suspecting hidden motives and doubting everything, which gives us the answer to the rhetorical question posed in the beginning (the answer to which, by the way, is exactly what you would expect). This movie it seems cannot decide whether it wants to be another pointless fun movie or try and get something serious and philosophical across. It fails miserably at both. The acting is dull, and there is no interest in trying to understand the characters (the poor writing makes the viewer give the extra effort to figure them out for themselves which frankly is not worth it). Recycled cheap laughs (singing in the bathroom) are just stupid and the whole movie seems like a commercial for a certain musician who in my opinion is just as good at creating moving songs as this movie is at getting good reviews. Basically I warn you very strongly not to see this: the characters go on a journey but seem intent on leaving you in the dust as they do, lackluster performances and lame jokes accentuate the diverse plot in a way that takes whatever potential this movie had to be decent and throws it down the drain.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Forget this asinine 2004 film where a woman uncovers her boyfriend's
little black book. The latter contains his previous girlfriends and so
she tries to investigate.
Our heroine along with her mother both live in a dream world where Carly Simon is the answer to just about everything. Miss Simon appears at the end of the film.
Our heroine works for a reality show with Kippie Kann, a totally uninspiring Kathy Bates.
Holly Hunter is her co-worker who turns the tables on Miss Murphy and uses her experiences as the basis for a segment on the show. All the former girlfriends and the guy are brought on the show under different pretexts. Naturally, this proves most embarrassing.
The theme here that when a door is closed, another door opens just doesn't work.
This is absolute frivolous nonsense.
Stacy Holt (Brittany Murphy) wants to be Diane Sawyer. She gets an
associate producer job for daytime talk show Kippie Kann (Kathy Bates).
Other AP Barb (Holly Hunter) takes her under her wings. Her boyfriend
Derek (Ron Livingston) let slip that he dated supermodel Lulu when they
see her on TV. She, Barb and Ira interview Lulu and discover that his
ex Joyce (Julianne Nicholson) was desperate to get back with him. In
desperation, she digs through his stuff to find his exes. She starts
tracking down his ex Dr. Keyes (Rashida Jones) and getting his
day-planner with the urging of Barb.
I don't find this funny. Stacy is both pathetic and annoying. The problem is that she doesn't have the loveability. Brittany Murphy is usually adorable but here, she is just the Manic Pixie Crazy Girlfriend. I also would rather have a young lifelong girlfriend instead of Holly Hunter. It is sad for this movie to drag 'Working Girl' into this mess.
"Little Black Book" is like a light-weight character study more than a
romantic comedy. The late Brittany Murphy is in the lead, and I enjoyed
her and the introduction to her character. I also enjoyed all of the
supporting actors. I enjoyed it so much upon first viewing, that I
bought the DVD.
After multiple viewings though, the so-called charming aspects become quite grating. It's very manipulative and when its true colours show through, you see how much is not to like. Although captivating, the main female characters don't have many good qualities, too controlling and dominating. The minor female characters are paper-thin and boring.
The screenplay manipulates us too much, and our empathies (if we actually have any) are forced from where they would naturally lie. I do like the overall story of Murphy's character, but then it's no longer a romantic comedy, and there's not enough to recommend "Little Black Book".
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
From the female perspective, this movie is about women brutally
screwing each other over. From the male perspective, it's about your
seemingly perfect girlfriend turning into a psychotic bitch for no
reason. Add in a spastic performance by Brittany Murphy, about 1/4th of
the film being nothing but an infomercial for the greatest hits of
Carly Simon and comedy that starts out at dog farts and goes downhill
from there. The result is that Little Black Book is repellent to
virtually every possible viewer.
Stacy (Brittany Murphy) is the main character of this disaster. She would be pathetic as a real person and is even worse as a fictional protagonist. Stacy is overwrought, bug-eyed and empty of anything except an unexamined, childlike desire to work with Diane Sawyer. She gets a job at a syndicated talk show based in New Jersey, which becomes the pretext for an endless series of jibes at the low-brow, trashy nature of such programs. The only other thing in Stacy's life is her live-in boyfriend Derek (Ron Livingston). He appears to be perfect so, of course, Stacy isn't satisfied with that.
Egged on by Barb (Holly Hunter), her fellow associate producer and the Friedrich Nietzsche of daytime talk shows, Stacy gets a hold of Derek's palm pilot while he's out of town and finds information in there about his old girlfriends. Putting aside how incredibly quickly the palm pilot became a dated reference, Stacy lies to Derek's old girlfriends to find out what she thinks he's been hiding from her. If you think that comes back to bite Stacy in the butt, you're only partly correct.
I will admit that Little Black Book is energetic and has a quick pace. Holly Hunter also appears to be having a great time playing Barb. That's about all the praise I can give to this narrative malformation.
I think I can sum up how awfully written this film is in one sentence. Stacy spends the whole movie acting like a manic, lying bitch and the audience is still supposed to be rooting for her at the end. How is that supposed to work? This thing was written by two women, but there's a scene in a gynecologist's office that could have come from the mind of a 19 year old frat boy. There's a cameo appearance by musician Gavin Rossdale that's so obtrusive and unnecessary it's like a 19 year old frat boy taking a trip to a gynecologist's office. The story casts Stacy as the product of a broken home and a self-absorbed mother, then brings the mother back at the end to cheer on her daughter as she achieves her greatest dreams, as though mom weren't responsible for most of Stacy's personal dysfunction.
The glimmer of an idea in the sunken pit where the heart of this movie is supposed to be is that Stacy is the girl in the romantic comedy who gets in between the two people who are destined to be together. In this case, that's Derek and one of his old girlfriends. It's the old trick of taking the same story you've seen before and telling it from the viewpoint of a minor character. The difficulty is that most romantic comedies delight in making the Stacy-character as big a skank as they can, while this one desperately tries to make her sympathetic. It doesn't work, particularly since the film also goes to great length to portray Derek and his old girlfriend as utterly wonderful, despite Derek not telling his live-in girlfriend of a year that he continues to have ongoing friendships with two of his exes. If these filmmakers had made Derek out to be a bastard and let Stacy and the old girlfriend run away together, at least that would have been something.
Little Black Book is 98% annoying, 1% cloying and 1% well, I can't think of another negative adjective that rhymes with "oying". This is the sort of movie that ends careers, and it largely did that to Brittany Murphy's.
This movie is terrible. It is a toe-squirming example of the pointless
sludge Hollywood is so keen on there is no message, no edge, no
beauty in it. It's not even funny.
I don't understand why they insist on blowing perfectly good money away on awful sugary films like this. This story could have been pretty good in the hands of the right people, but here it's told just so smoothly and dishonest, hatefully playing with your emotions, and actually succeeding in making you well up, but leaving you feeling hollow and sick.
One of the major lows is the girl that plays the main character: she is just obnoxious overacting, showing no real emotion (the way she was standing there with her face covered in snot and tears without wiping it off I felt like slapping her in the face, I actually shouted at the screen. And then there was that terrible dog and the way she talked to it), awful! You don't for one moment believe that she even loves her boyfriend.
The rest of the cast was actually rather good (did I detect hints of fear in some eyes sometimes?), especially the girl with the freckles, though Holly Hunter was fairly annoying.
To each his own I suppose, but i cannot see the value of this vehicle.
Holly Hunter is always worth watching. But this was my first Brittany
Murphy movie and I'll go out of my way not to see her again.
Her bug-eyed expression, which she must think is appropriate for every scene, plus her open-mouthed pout and twitchy jerking from expression to expression make this movie almost unwatchable. She seems to think she's the next Meg Ryan -- she's not even close. I tried to enjoy the flick in spite of her; it can't be done. She awkwardly jerks through every scene.
Holly Hunter is great as a more cynical version of her character in Broadcast News. Ron Livingston demonstrates the art of subtle acting, something Murphy badly needs lessons on.
A career-girl comedy that lamely morphs into a satirical look at the
television industry, "Little Black Book" is an uneven fusion of
"American Virgin", "Livin' Large", and "Broadcast News" (in fact Holly
Hunter looks like she has not aged since playing her Jane Craig role in
1987). Thankfully it is somewhat better than "American Virgin" although
that is extremely faint praise. There is even a little bit of "To Die
For" inserted as heroine Stacy Holt (Brittany Murphy) frequently speaks
about her dreams of becoming another Diane Sawyer. The real highlight
of the movie is the appearance of insurance salesman Ned Ryerson from
"Groundhog Day", wearing a toupee ("Am I right or am I right").
There are some good things about "Little Black Book". It is somewhat original, although that is largely due to recent introduction of Palm Pilots and etc. as the little black books of the 21st century. Stacy and her boyfriend Derek (Ron Livingston) have good chemistry and Derek's dog (Bob) provides a good excuse for utilizing Murphy's talent for physical comedy. Stacy and Derek have one especially good scene when he discovers and confronts her about snooping through the stuff in his apartment. Julianne Nicholson and Murphy have great chemistry and their scenes together are quite unaffected and real. Nicholson plays a character much like her critically acclaimed Ella Smalley role in "Tully". Nicholson underplays nicely yet can be convincingly intense when required.
"Little Black Book" suffers from having Hunter and Murphy as its leads because a viewer can only take so much raspy-voiced dialogue. This is compounded by a scripting that requires a lot of voice-over narration from Murphy. Her raspy disembodied voice is painful but not as painful as listening to Maybelline model Josie Maran attempt an unspecified foreign accent. Maran is great decoration and while she brings far more than Kathy Ireland's constant expression of stunned surprise to her performance, she is not up the task of doing accents. One wonders about the basic competence of director Nick Hurran, how could he listen to something this awful and not pull the plug and allow her to play the character with her normal voice.
But the ultimate downfall of "Little Black Book" is in the story itself. Despite an endless amount of tedious preaching (mostly on the amorality of the television ratings game), it fails to deliver a consistent or even intelligible message, then it cheats and spits up out of nowhere a moronic happy ending featuring Carly Simon. Bleah!!!
Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.
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