Anna Foster has never had an ordinary life. At eighteen years old, she is the most protected girl in America; she is the First Daughter. Frustrated with her overprotective father, the ... See full summary »
A married woman realizes how unhappy her marriage really is, and that her life needs to go in a different direction. After a painful divorce, she takes off on a round-the-world journey to "find herself".
Handsome, romantic, sexy gentile Charlie enjoys his honeymoon with liberal-Jewish marriage counselor Ava. It's cut short when her parents Bradley and Betty, who always seemed the perfect couple, suddenly border on divorce over an old affair and poorly matched expectations. Worse, in turn they invite themselves to move in and drive the newly-weds crazy. Ethics prevent Ava from taking them on as clients and the colleagues she refers to prove hopelessly inept. Meanwhile Charlie's impulsive buddy Gerber, the eternal bachelor party animal, has married Polish green-card-chaser Kasia. Written by
Okay... okay Betty, we're making some, some progress. I want you both to close your eyes... take a deep breath, and let's try and reconnect... with some of those feelings you had when you first decided to get married.
Ava, this Berkeley bullshit isn't going to work on me.
I'm sorry darling... but I'm not going to take marital advice from my twenty-eight year old newlywed daughter!
I'm a professional!
And you're a hopeless romantic. You've been watching Gone With the Wind every Thanksgiving...
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I like light romance comedies, but what I found most unlikable about this particular movie was Mandy Moore's character's very one-sided personality. She's been in too many movies where her characters have been irritating, one-sided, primadonna types. It's unfortunate given that she is so attractive. It's incredibly irritating to see a protagonist force her vision of what her parent's marriage should be. It was pounded again and again, just irritating, and there was no depth to it such as her showing a painful side as to why she needs to 'fix' things (ie some sense of childhood neglect), nor did it show her maturing into someone who wants their parents to be happy in their own way, without somebody, society, etc telling them what they 'should' be happy with. Who's to say anybody can tell another what makes them happy? Can't a couple go their separate ways for a few days or months, to discover their individual selves? I was more pleased with Jane Seymour's character to experience a life, grow, do new things, travel, etc apart from being some wife-servant. At least with Mandy Moore's character, she could have had some evolution in her efforts (not just that last second fake pill overdose shenanigan to manipulate her parents), to be more altruistic instead of dominating/manipulating.
The conflict with the husband regarding the manipulation was well played. Mandy's character manipulates a fake life-and-death situation to deceive his mother into not wanting to be on her own for 6 months out of her life for once. Mandy's husband called her out on this blatant manipulation and I felt that was the most honest part of the movie, how shallow, selfish the manipulation was, to judge for other people what 'should' make them happy, that it involves some stereotype instead of personal discovery/independence. The resolution of the conflict came out of nowhere. The dialogue started with Mandy's character trying to apologize, but was interrupted, as if an apology or personal change/growth was completely unnecessary. The things the husband wanted from the wife (to accept, in him) was actually nothing to do with why he was angry in the first place. She gets interrupted from her apology, he asks to be accepted, they kiss, end credits. She never got the chance to apologize and so that almost says that it was unnecessary, superficial. Messages like that are dangerous. Even with the movie being a comedy.
I found Mandy's character overall annoying/irritating and given that she felt no remorse for manipulating her parents, that she had no soul. I don't think it was Ms. Moore's fault, as that has more to do with the script and directing, hinting at emotion, providing pause, reflection, etc that the director simply did not provide. These romantic comedies that have such absurd conflict only to end in even more absurd resolution are ultimately dangerous stories of fantasy that even a lighthearted audience should not see. It only can give terrible impressions in a relationship, bad example, and make relationships more painful and illusive. At least a comedy could teach the viewers something. There was no lesson of compromise, of heart-felt communication, of acceptance, of change, of growth, etc - the conflict was sudden and the resolution was even more sudden.
Normally I don't mind watching rom-coms multiple times, but i don't think this is enjoyable to watch again. The characters were too irritating to enjoy. It reminds me of the irritation I felt with another Mandy Moore movie, License to Wed, where the conflict felt so incredibly contrived/out-of-nowhere and the helplessness of the characters (to augment the ridiculous conflict) just made it really annoying. I actually liked her better in Swinging With The Finkels, even though in that movie I found the shallow, apathetic and loyalty-less husband quite irritating.
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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