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Bye Bye Love (1995)
A feel-good movie, if you've never seen anything better
To begin, I'll admit that I bought the movie because Eliza Dushku was in it. Plus, I find Paul Reiser funny for some reason. When I started playing this movie, a weird feeling hit me, and it never left me after that point. It was a feeling of dread, perhaps. Bye Bye Love is trite. It's hard for me to call a movie trite because I find myself being one-note on occasion. The movie was a long string of inconsequential one-liners punctuated by stressed emotional moments. I really liked Janeane Garofalo here, as a crazy blind date for Randy Quaid, who was the most genuine of the three father-actors(Matthew Modine, Reiser, and Quaid). The B-plot of the movie seemed to shift focus between Rob Reiner's lousy radio psychiatrist and Ed Flanders as an old man trying to find use for himself as a McDonald's employee(in his last role, wasted on this movie). Reiner provides the psych evaluation of divorcées, and the segue into the weekend ritual of swapping kids(at the corporate sponsor of the movie, McDonald's, whose ominous flags and arches loom in the background of too many of the exterior shots), and gets his comeuppance at the end of the movie, at the hands of Quaid. This seems like a good John Hughes movie gone terribly, terribly wrong, complete with silly montages and the expository scene at the end where everybody has a revelation and warm feelings. I think someone was trying to package this movie as a The Big Chill 'the next step,' with the requisite soundtrack(including much Everly Brothers, hence the name of the movie). One thing that creeped me out about this movie was the presence of both Amber Benson and Lindsay Crouse, and Dushku, who all worked together again in the fourth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Danny Masterson was also present, as the stereotypical stoner/drunk kid, and in blink-and-you'll-miss-them roles were Jack Black as a party DJ and Steven Root as a disgruntled neighbor.
Comparable in flavor to critically-acclaimed Cowboy Bebop. If you're one of the many people that enjoy a good, character-driven show, with a decent plotline and writing hand-crafted by some of the finest in the business, then this is the show for you. Apparently so for the Fox network, but only for a few weeks. Thankfully, the show was released in its entirety on DVD, in all of its glory. Also, as if the brilliant episodes weren't enough to satisfy, there are great, insightful commentaries on most episodes, by creator Joss Whedon and others, and lots of other extras. I can't say enough about this show. Everyone was sad to see this show go, especially the stars.
***** out of *****