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Truly Awful....Yes It's That Bad, 6 November 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Let me preface this by saying I like a good, light-hearted comedy from time to time. I don't even mind ones a tad on the "cheesy" side occasionally. in the opposite direction of this movie. Halfway through this flick I felt like screaming "my eyes! my eyes!" OK, I am a fan of Keaton, Perabo, Graham, & think Mandy Moore is adequate. My question is WHAT WERE THEY THINKING??? I don't know who should take the brunt of the blame-the director or the writers. It almost makes me glad the writers are on strike as I take comfort in knowing these "scribes" won't be inflicting anymore painful dialog on us for a while. As for the story, it is blatantly obvious they were going for the cutesy, "we're so zany & hip" family vibe. Presented in a standard if not somewhat cliché ridden format, the premise could work. However, this film tries SOOOOO hard & is so WAAAAAY over the top that it is literally painful to watch good actors having to deliver the astoundingly bad dialog. Note to Piper Perabo-fire your agent, you are too talented for this muck! Diane Keaton unfortunately gives one of the most grating performances ever and aside from that, her character is dressed like June Cleaver at a polka dot convention. Lauren Graham comes out as the only character with a shred of dignity as the brainy therapist older sister. She actually has more than two lines. Piper Perabo is nothing but pretty set dressing and while she looks great, there is absolutely no purpose for her in this film. Mandy Moore was fine as the lead but her character was written as superficial & unlikeable. Dating/sleeping with two guys as if both were the loves of her life did not make her appealing or admirable-a better adjective might be sleazy. The last second choppy ending where she chooses the "sweet guy" is supposed to redeem her but is so ridiculous it accomplishes nothing.The best way to sum up how over the top this movie is would have to be the scene where the overbearing mother character (played by Keaton) has some porn pop up on her computer. Does she simply shut it down or turn off the darn thing? No, she panics calls the manufacturer of the computer while her dog is apparently sexually aroused by human computer porn. She even goes so far as to throw a blanket over the computer monitor which the dog pulls off. (insert scene of dog humping furniture leg here) your money & if you happen to come across it free of your time. I wish I could have mine back!