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|Index||115 reviews in total|
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.
While there have been a number of great romance movies, this one
definitely was not. We talk sometimes about violence in films or
cruelty. Sometimes the cruelest thing is how we humans treat each other
in everyday life - or everyday situations that are or should be
romantic. And instead of romance, there is mistrust, deceit, anger,
sorrow, but never really much love. This is such a movie. It is indeed
a movie about situations that one would expect to be romantic, but
instead are awkward and awful.
Even the scenes that are supposed to be happy really end up being egotistical and or selfish. None of that leaves some of us viewers with a feeling of happiness nor makes some of us glad to see such a movie.
As for the acting - again it was not very believable. In fairness to the actresses and actors though, it seemed mostly due to a very bad script - or at least one that portrayed the cast mostly at their worst. If there is to be a villain or villains in a movie, it is more comfortable if the villains are comfortable with their evil and do it by choice. In this case the villains are portrayed as "bumbling victims themselves" which just makes them seem witless and silly.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It was nice to see that not all girls HAVE to get the guy in the end to be happy. I am not usually too much of a Brittany Murphy fan. I kinda thought she used to be way too thin, which is unappealing to me. But I think she was absolutely beautiful in this movie. I think the supporting cast did a good job, I kept trying to figure out the next twist...and it's a romance movie! My husband even liked it! He didn't want to watch it with me, due to it's mediocre star rating. But I reminded him that some of his favorite movies are rated less than stellar. Goes to show, for me anyways, sometimes you just gotta see it for yourself! I will probably be watching it again!...and how about Holly Hunter's smokin' bod. I could only hope to look like that in my mid-40's!
The pay-off of this film isn't the Heroine's happy ending, nor the clever techie twist of having a Palm Pilot at the center of the film ( Who knows what evil lurks in the heart of a Palm Pilot? ) But it is rather the climax, which gives the viewers the savaging of reality television which the genre desperately needs. This is the most satisfying skewering of the medium since 'Network'. It is unfortunate that the movie briefly falls into its own clichés with the usual Obligatory Toilet Scene. On the other hand, Helen Hunt's surprise evil turn is far better the the anticipated one of Dearth Vader. And the actress transmogrifies without the aid of any C.G.I.'s. Using Carly Simon's songs was a great idea as well. But the bombardment which they hit the daytime reality shows is equal to Network's foretelling of today's TV. Maybe in the sequel they might bring in Faye Dunaway.
I am so disappointed with this movie. Even after the bad reviews I still wanted to see it due to an interesting plot and great cast. I really liked Just Married, so I figured that even with it's low B-grade feel I would still enjoy it. Alas, I feel cheated and a little dizzy. The cinematography seemed messy and pointless. There were some great opportunities for interesting coverage, instead we are left with cheesy cliché, boring frames. Direction...was there any? The narration started to become stale and at times distracted from what was actually happening on screen, who knows it could have been more interesting! I feel sorry for the producers and editors that tried to salvage some semblance of a story from this waste of film! I've seen student productions with more coherence! I'm left feeling as though I've missed the point. So much talent wasted.
Seriously! I enjoyed this movie immensely because, besides being funny,
the plots and sub-plots kept you as a viewer very busy keeping up with
it all. But it can and should be done! It was quite a delight.
One of the most interesting parts of the movie was the play on our current culture that allows and even encourages shows to compel us to put on display some of our "weirdness" in America, even though much of it may be fully contrived - contrived still exists in someone's imagination at least.
Brittany Murphy is so entertaining to watch. Holly Hunter is a can't miss in any movie. And the remaining supporting cast all seem to be living their lives and individually all represent aspects of our regular lives that, of course, we would not necessarily wish to air on a TV show! Worth seeing for sure! You'll laugh and cry!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Monday night, nothing to do, so rented this movie -- I'd been avoiding
it after seeing the previews/posters. I thought it was going to be
low-brain-cell chick-flick awful. So I was pleasantly surprised by the
thoughtful ending (ok, before the cheesy fainting scene).
The movie was incorrectly labeled as a romantic comedy -- nothing romantic about it; and nothing comedic about it either (unless it's renamed Little Black Comedy). But besides the false advertising, I thought the movie was thought-provoking and a bit of a social commentary. Not only does it point out how reality TV is barf-inducing, low, exploitative, and trashy, but I was struck more by the irony -- how Murphy's character is a control-freak of sorts, but her crusade to try to "make sure" that her boyfriend is not cheating on her turns the "control-tables" on her -- and she finally realizes that life's better lived then to be controlled, plotted, planned out -- (unlike reality TV). In that sense, the movie was presented more of a reality than any escapist chick flick.
Overall, better if you go into the movie with low expectations, and wait for the ending --
How amusingly appropriate this movie had an August release. The movie is a real dog. In fact, the dog was the best character. This movie will definitely earn a reward. A Stinker Award, that is. The previews and commercials really did manage to paint an entertaining movie. However, the end result is exactly the same as what happened with "Mars Attacks". They took ALL the (very very few) good parts and put them in the trailer/commercial, making the trailer/commercial much better than the actual film. Overall, this movie is a complete waste of time, and I'm sure the DVD will be given out free. Possibly in bags of dog food. We can only hope the DVD will be reusable, but if not, there's always skeet shooting.
It was a quiet Saturday night for this single 30-something. And instead
of attending a gigantic party in a posh home, I decided to have a girls
night with a friend and see a light-hearted romantic comedy. A giggle
and an early night sounded great!
And then I saw this movie.... Probably the worst thing I could have done. My sunny disposition was given over to the most depressing outlook on life I have ever seen - EVER. I literally wanted to run out of the theater, saddle up to a bar, and ask the bartender to line up 3 tequila shots. My first thought was, "Who on earth wrote this thing?" and then it was "Gosh, I hope they are seeking some kind of therapy!" Basically, you don't get anything out of life except a job? Your friends will screw you over? You think he is the right guy but, in truth, you get no one? Getting the urge to drink again....
Please don't waste your money. In fact, the DVD rental may be even worse, you'll be around sharp objects. If you have an addiction problem, RUN from this movie, you'll be in rehab before the credits role.
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