The pairing of "Friends" regular Matthew Perry and Salma Hayek
("Desperado") in a Southwestern-style romantic comedy has plenty of date-night appeal, but "Fools Rush In" is a disappointingly unendearing cinematic valentine from director Andy Tennant
("It Takes Two").
The Columbia Pictures wide release faces strong competition and won't be experiencing too heavy a rush at the boxoffice, although it may generate respectable crossover business with Latino audiences and perform well on video.
Written by Katherine Reback
and based on the real-life courtship of producer Doug Draizin
and co-producer Anna Maria Davis
, "Fools" sets up a hustling New Yorker (Perry) with an aspiring Latina photographer (Hayek) for a broad but often blandly executed round of multicultural gags and tame drama.
Although both leads give engaging performances, as manic romantics they never really achieve orbital velocity.
After a one-night stand, she leaves him flat. A new guy in her hometown of Vegas, he oversees construction of a new nightclub and confides with an equally well-groomed city slicker (Jon Tenney).
Months later, Hayek's pregnant believer-in-fate shows up and Perry's honorable unbeliever falls in love with her.
The lovers get hitched with the help of an Elvis impersonator, but she doesn't know that he plans to return to New York. He also insults her in front of his nosy country-club parents John Bennett Perry
, Jill Clayburgh
) and almost runs into serious trouble with her former fiance (Carlos Gomez) and father.
Despite the glitzy Vegas locations and several scenes filmed at Hoover Dam, the film lacks visual pizazz. The soundtrack includes some 20 pop songs -- from vintage Presley to the Iguanas.
FOOLS RUSH IN
Sony Pictures Releasing
A Doug Draizin
An Andy Tennant
Director Andy Tennant
Writer Katherine Reback
Producer Doug Draizin
Executive producer Michael McDonnell
Director of photography Robbie Greenberg
Production designer Edward Pisoni
Editor Roger Bondelli
Costume designer Kimberly A. Tillman
Co-producer Anna Maria Davis
Music Alan Silvestri
Casting Juel Bestrop
Alex Matthew Perry
Isabel Salma Hayek
Jeff Jon Tenney
Nan Jill Clayburgh
Running time -- 109 minutes
MPAA rating: PG-13