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A nine-year-old amateur inventor, Francophile, and pacifist searches New York City for the lock that matches a mysterious key left behind by his father, who died in the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.
Mary Horowitz writes crossword puzzles for the Sacramento Herald. She's loquacious to a fault. When kids at a career day make fun of her for being single, she accepts a blind date with Steve, the cameraman for a CNN-like news network. Within minutes she decides he's the man for her. He's quickly put off by her constant verbiage and over-the-top advances; he makes an off-hand remark about going on the road with her, and splits. She's moonstruck, writes a sappy crossword puzzle, loses her job, and decides to follow him as the news team crisscrosses the Southwest; Steve's team eggs her on. Then she falls in a mine shaft, and she and Steve become a story; is it a love story? Written by
First let preface that this movie was not my first choice to see tonight, but after The Hangover and The Proposal, I was cautiously optimistic Sandra Bullock and Bradley Coooper would carry this movie even if it was a lightweight premise. How wrong I was!
The movie goes wrong the second these two meet for their blind date and never looks back. The main reason I think I had such a disconnect with this movie is because the characters do not act like any living person on this planet. Furthermore, Sandra Bullock does not have a clear role to play: she's vacillates between being sophisticated and clueless, at all times when it's convenient for the plot. I don't know if I was supposed to sympathize with her or not, but the eventual effect was annoyance! It's not a good sign when you're hoping that they just leave her at the bottom of that well. Bradley Cooper basically just smiles throughout the movie.
The movie also can't decide what genre it wants to belong to. It tries to be a comedy, a drama of self discovery, a satire of cable news, and a natural disaster movie (whether it be tornado or abandoned well) and fails at all attempts. Let it be said that the tornado looks good and that's about the best thing I can say about this movie.
I think I laughed twice during the film, but I can't remember if it was related to what was on screen or my on disbelief that I was in this theater. Sadly, I would be willing to bet that a conversation with a real crossword puzzle designer for ninety minutes would be more fun than sitting through this mess!
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