Little Black Book (2004) Poster

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A sci-fi/action/thriller genre fan's review
higfilm0726 April 2005
It is very easy for a film like Little Black Book to be quickly labeled as just another "Chick Flick" starring a 20-something actress that looks pretty. But after actually taking a chance on a genre I usually run away from, I have to say this was a pleasant experience.

Brittany Murphy (Clueless) stars as the journalist-driven career girl taking on an associate producer job at a Oprah-type talk show. One of her fellow producers, played by the very-hot-for-her-age Holly Hunter gives her the usual talk of the business of how things are run. During a ideas meeting with the Executive Producer (played by the hilarious character actor, Stephen Tobolowsky, whom I met last month) the idea is pitched about snooping into a boyfriend's little black book or in this 21st century, a Palm Pilot.

The film manages to avoid the usual chick-flick clichés and gives us a central- character with a back-story and more than one-dimension (take that Mandy Moore). From the great soundtrack by Carly Simon (whom makes a cameo), to the always positive force of Diane Sawyer(?), this movie has heart and a wicked sense of humor when it comes to exposing talk shows for their secrets, lies, and pure entertainment souls.

So, here is a sci-fi/action/thriller genre fan, who will try a little harder to give chick-flicks a little more of the silver screen.

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Are the people voting really watching this movie?
mshires15 July 2005
All romantic comedies follow a standard formula: Boy meets girl. Boy gets girl. Boy loses girl. Boy gets girl back. As the audience, we're supposed to enjoy the How of the formula. And often times that formula is very entertaining. Along comes this refreshing, unpredictable "Little Black Book" that does not follow the familiar formula, yet is a romantic comedy -- and a very well made one, I think -- the cumulative vote so far is less than 5. Makes no sense to me. Here's what you get with "Little Black Book." An intelligent script well directed. Brittany Murphy is impressive in a very seamless performance. Julianne Nicholson practically steals the show. Plus Josie Maran steams the whole thing up. What else do you want? 7 out of 10
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Omission is betrayal.
film-critic3 March 2005
Is it all right to say that this film surprised me? Will I be shot whenever I try to talk to anyone about film if I say this? Well, I am going to take a risk and be honest with everyone when I say that I actually enjoyed this film. It was not at all what I was expecting and answered the question as to why Holly Hunter and Kathy Bates would choose to do a film of this level. This was a very quirky film that suddenly went into this dark cavern at the end that left my jaw hanging wide open. Little Black Book speaks about relationships, the honesty of life, and the brutal truth of the television programming we like to call, reality television. Ever watch Jerry Springer and wonder how they get guests like that onto the show and be surprised by the truth that unfolds? Well, strangely enough, Little Black Book answers those questions. While Brittany Murphy headlines this film, she is definitely not the star. Her acting ability takes back seat to some of the most powerful actresses in Hollywood and even backseat to a story that did not come from Hollywood's recycling bin. This was a surprise film for me and proves yet again that you cannot judge a film by the way that the marketing team has decided to create the box and previews.

I mentioned that Murphy's acting was not the pinnacle point to this film, and I cannot stress that enough. The true stars of this film are Holly Hunter and Kathy Bates. I though that they took these exceptionally small roles and defined the entire film with them. This is especially truth with Holly Hunter. Her character confused me throughout the entire film, constantly making me think that she took this role to pay more bills and that was all. Then, when the ending took shape, I knew exactly why she agreed to this performance. It was outstanding. The ability that Hunter has to contain all that she needs until the very end was amazing for this film. Normally, you don't expect to see that caliber of acting in a film called Little Black Book, but you do. Hunter plays the part of the little red devil on Murphy's shoulder so well that it would be hard not to see it until the final moments. I don't want to give anything away, but do not give up on the performances until the climactic ending. You will be utterly surprised. The same for Kathy Bates that seemed like she didn't do anything special, but I saw that she did. She, again, took a very small character and almost centralized her to the entire film. Not something I was expecting with this little ditty of a film. Ron Livingston does decently well playing Berger … I mean Derek. While Murphy falls at the end of the pile due to constantly trying to upscale those actresses that surround her. You could tell that she was trying to keep the focus on herself instead of working with her surrounding counter-parts. This was the only negative aspect to the acting, the battle between Murphy's ego and the rest of the ensemble cast.

If this film could win any award out there, I think that it deserves a writing award. Screenwriter Melissa Carter has taken everything we know about romantic Hollywood films and almost repotted it into the world of reality television. These were two avenues that I didn't think could be combined, but they were and done with the skill of a find author. What I mean by this is that the story flowed. There were not any jumps, bumps, or painful moments from the beginning to the end. The writing was surprisingly strong for this film. I was not expecting some of the lines to come from our actress's mouth, but they did and were very poignant to the plot. This was not a film overly cluttered with cheesy catch-lines like "You've Got Mail" and "You had me at 'Hello"". The lines for this film were dark and a bit disturbing which surprised me that I didn't catch on to them earlier in the film. Again, I was ready for a simple romantic comedy, but found something disturbingly original and different in both the acting and writing.

Finally, I would like to say that without modern technology this would have been a very simple love story. The characters would have remained in one place without the excitement of a PALM or computer. So, my next question to you is this, is modern technology the true villain of this film? There is the obvious one that appears near the end, but I don't think the idea of technology as the villain is ever presented. If it weren't for the PALM that Derek gives Stacy, none of this would have happened. They would have gone about their lives happy and none the wiser. Perhaps this film would have still been made, except with the modern technology it would have been labeled as a sci-fi, and that would have been an all together wild ride for anyone tuning in. Perhaps I have wandered off the beaten path a bit with this idea, but as I was writing this review I was thinking of how much emphasis there is on technology in this film, and perhaps director Nick Hurran was slightly slapping us in the face with this notion of evil technology. Something to think about as you watch this film.

Overall, I was impressed. As the laughter from my peers continues to engulf me, I stand by my decision and proudly wave it above my head. If you can get past Murphy's role and acting in this film, then I think you will also see the originality and creativity behind this picture.

Grade: **** out of *****
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Just A Thought
fyrebugg0316 August 2004
Warning: Spoilers
I liked this movie simply because the ending wasn't what anyone thought it would be. If you look at the world today.. what do you see? BETRAYAL! Everyone trying to get ahead in life and doing what ever they can to do it. Not everything in life is so happy and movies shouldn't always play out to the happy ending fairy tale. That's not the way it happens. The girl doesn't always get the guy in the end that doesn't happen in real life. And in this movie it was more important that she find herself and follow her dreams yet it was still a happy ending without the guy. It was more enjoyable to see that she actually found herself and moved on to follow her dream. Having a job with your idol and making something of yourself would mean more than getting a guy in the end. Being happy with yourself because of the obstacles that you overcame to get to a point of which you dreamed of your whole life is better than having won a man that didn't belong with you in the first place because his heart was with someone else the whole time you were together. Nothing in life is ever fair and this movie makes that statement true. We can never have everything we want.
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Although seen as superficial, this movie holds a lot more...
aedolon2 January 2005
"Question: How does a girl who jumps, eyes open, down a rabbit hole, plummeting into chaos, come out the other end unchanged? The answer? She doesn't."

The movie starts off not with a joke, not with two people falling in love, but with a profound statement. This film, although sometimes dramatic, sometimes fun and sometimes heartfelt, holds more than just what lies on the surface.

With an amazing twist and pretty well thought out characters (some superficial and others that are quite the opposite), I found more in this movie than I thought I would. I sat down to watch a romantic comedy. And what I came away with was something to think about and a story that made me feel something more than just a bit of satisfaction-- I felt learned. I felt that someone was telling me something; wisdom was being shared.

Sit down with this one and don't just watch it. Think about it. Delve into what it's saying. And I think you'll be pleasantly surprised to see what it really has to offer...
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The Blackberry
jotix10020 March 2006
Warning: Spoilers
With the advance of technology, would be Lotharios had better pay attention to the information they load into their devices because, chances are, a new girlfriend will get her hands on it, and then, disaster. Which is what happens to Stacy, the young woman at the center of this comedy: she finds out about the ongoing relationship with Derek's former love interests.

Nick Hurran directs this sunny comedy, which we didn't see during its commercial run. "The Little Black Book" proves to be much better than some of the comments about it when it made its debut. Melissa Carter and Elisa Bell are credited with writing the screen play.

The story centers about Stacy, an eager young woman who wants to make it into television. Diane Sawyer is her idol, and Carly Simon, and her music, have been constant companions for her and her mother, who finds Ms. Simon songs adorable. When Stacy is accepted as an associate producer for the Kippie Kann's talk show, she believes that's the stepping stone for bigger and better things that will follow. Well, how wrong she is proved to be!

When she falls in love with Derek, the hunky sports anchor, she gets more than what she bargained for. Barb, an older producer of the talk show, who has taken Stacy under her wing, is instrumental for unlocking the secret behind the other women in Derek's life when she shows her colleague how to use the program of Derek's Blackberry that he has left behind while covering out of town games. The discovery of a hidden part of Derek's life gives Stacy a chance to meet the other women with the pretense of auditioning them for a television program.

What Stacy doesn't realize is how Barb is double crossing her. In fact, the joke is on Stacy, as she is surprised as being at the center of Kippie's talk show. The experience devastates her. Stacy's career seems to be over because of the way Barb exposed her to a viewing audience and the women in Derek's life. The film ends in a positive note though.

Brittany Murphy, as Stacy, makes us care about her. Holly Hunter though, is magnificent as the heartless Barb, who thinks she is doing Stacy a big favor by unmasking the truth. Julianne Nicholson, one of the finest young actresses in movies, plays Joyce, one of Derek's former girlfriends. Kathy Bates has not much to do as Kippie. Ron Livingston is seen as the hunky Derek. Joseph Tobolowsky, Kevin Sussman are among the supporting players that contribute to make this film fun to watch.

Nick Hurran shows lots of talent and he indicates he is up to the challenge in future projects.
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Better Than Expected
Zen41628 August 2005
I saw this on DVD a couple of days ago and was pleasantly surprised. I have to say, Brittany Murphy is a good actress and she certainly holds her own in comedy situations. Though this is a comedy, she plays the character as the (semi) straight-man role and it makes the film, because it lets the other characters around her (like Holly Hunter, Kevin Sussman and Stephen Tobolowsky in particular) shine in some of the funnier parts. The use of the Carly Simon music throughout was a nice touch too, instead of the formulaic soundtrack of bubble-gum stuff a lot of other films use. The ending is especially good and makes this whole film worth checking out if you give it a chance. It starts a little slow but once the pace picks up, you'll be pleased you gave it a shot. Rent it when you want a different sort of romance tale.
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crazydancer12929 August 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I went into this movie not expecting an epic (come on!), but at least a halfway decent film to take my mind off things for an hour and a half. And, after wasting that hour and a half on this pathetic excuse for a rom-com, all I can say is: wow. I didn't think it was possible for a movie to be this bad, even after seeing Rumor Has It... (side note- don't see that one either!) I can usually put up with Brittany Murphy- I loved Uptown Girls- but she got on my last nerve. The plot was clumsily thrown together, and for a supposed comedy, I laughed out loud exactly once (at the phone smashing bit- gotta admit, that was hilarious). Even some die-hard fans of this movie admit the ending was one of the worst in romantic comedy history, and as a complete non-fan, it was just appalling. The only part I appreciated even a little bit was the way the writer avoided the trap of having Bean and Stacy get together. But overall, without a doubt one of the worst movies I've ever seen.
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surprising and satisfying, non-romantic comedy
jar_burn138 June 2006
Warning: Spoilers
After a day of lounging around with a sunburn I was in the mood for a romantic comedy. When I picked Little Black Book to watch(for the first time), I was terribly and excitedly surprised by the brash and shocking ending. The movie tells the story of a young adult, Stacy, played brilliantly by Brittany Murphy embarking on a new career and a new aspect of a year's relationship. When Murphy discovers that her boyfriend's last girlfriend was a bulimic supermodel, she gets caught in a web of lies after she investigates his past 3 relationships while he is away on a business trip. While all this is happening, she leans on a new found friend, Barb, played maniacally by Holly Hunter. Near the end of the movie Murphy is ratted out on live television, by her so called friend played by Hunter. The twist from harmless love story to venomous real life enrages you, but entices your viewing senses. But the best part is that Murphy doesn't end up with a "lover" at all. She ends up with a dream job and Carly Simon.

The previous description isn't fabulous, I'm still sorting through what I have seen. I give this movie a seven because it was somewhat dull before the twist, which was like I said at the end of the film. Murphy gave a great performance as a strong yet vulnerable woman. Hunter does a great job of making you hate her without ever really becoming a villain. This is a great film for a person who can appreciate the comedic realities of life.
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not what I thought
bwilliams_3212 February 2005
After all of the hype for this movie, I really thought that it would be good, but the first time I tried watching it I made it through about 15 minutes before realizing I wasn't paying attention to a word they said. I tried to watch it again to give it the benefit of the doubt and I was truly disappointed. Usually I like Brittany Murphey's movies, but I just didn't care for the story in this one. The previews definitely made it look better than I thought it would, and while some parts were OK, for the most part the movie was not good. I would not recommend spending money to rent it, if it comes on a movie channel, then maybe give it the time, who knows, some might like it.
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benhl2852 June 2005
After viewing this movie, I'd have to say that it was probably the worst decision of my recent past to spend money on it. This movie is just god-awful. Brittany Murphy portrays a girlfriend who is crafty and intuitive but at the same time clueless. Suspecting hidden motives and doubting everything, which gives us the answer to the rhetorical question posed in the beginning (the answer to which, by the way, is exactly what you would expect). This movie it seems cannot decide whether it wants to be another pointless fun movie or try and get something serious and philosophical across. It fails miserably at both. The acting is dull, and there is no interest in trying to understand the characters (the poor writing makes the viewer give the extra effort to figure them out for themselves which frankly is not worth it). Recycled cheap laughs (singing in the bathroom) are just stupid and the whole movie seems like a commercial for a certain musician who in my opinion is just as good at creating moving songs as this movie is at getting good reviews. Basically I warn you very strongly not to see this: the characters go on a journey but seem intent on leaving you in the dust as they do, lackluster performances and lame jokes accentuate the diverse plot in a way that takes whatever potential this movie had to be decent and throws it down the drain.
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Holly Hunter Jumps the Shark!
ldavis-228 January 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Saw this on FX, and as one of the posters put it, this was painful. Not just painful, but squirm-in-your-seat painful! The "payoff" is the kind of cruelty usually reserved for snuff films!

The whole Carly Simon/Diane Sawyer bit was more painful. What's with this weird obsession with Working Girl, which should never be confused with Broadcast News. Holly Hunter must be wondering how she got from that to this!

As far as the "plot": who keeps pictures of his exes on his Palm (and shares "joint custody" of his dog with one of them), and what does that say about his commitment to his current squeeze?

By the way, what qualifies Derek as an NHL scout? Because he has a hockey stick in his apartment? Well, I happen to own the first stick Wayne Gretzky used as a pro, which - according to this stinker - qualifies me to be Commissioner! Shouldn't he actually have played hockey? And be a Canadian, eh? But, I digress.
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dej9921 January 2007
I watched this movie because I like many of the actors: Holly Hunter, Kathy Bates, and Ron Livingston. Brittany Murphy is cute and appealing. But every scene was excruciatingly painful and there was nothing to redeem the film. The narration (by the main character) was trite, the plot was thin, and too much time was spent on the behind-the-scenes of a trashy daytime talk show (we all know that these shows are drivel and the producers lack integrity---please tell us something that we don't know). If it weren't a lazy Sunday morning, I would have certainly changed the channel. Please, don't be fooled, and don't waste your time. I have never bothered to review a movie based on how negatively I feel about it, but this movie took the cake.
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Probably the most horrid movie ever
BodaciousK158 August 2004
I want you to understand that I watch a lot of movies, and I do toss the phrase "worst movie ever" around, but mostly in a joking way. But, in the case of 'Little Black Book' I am serious when I say that it is by far the worst movie I have ever had the horror of witnessing. Lets start with the screenplay itself. Its really an intriguing idea, an innocent young woman descends into a lying, malicious person out of self-doubt and the fear that her man is cheating. It's not your typical regurgitated summer romance. It tries to be a character study, a commentary about the self-doubt that plagues women in our society, and a warning to women in the same situation as Stacy (Murphy).

Unfortunately, the movie is none of the above listed things. Stacy narrates the movie and instead of accepting herself for what she is, she ends up pleading with the audience, trying to convince herself, and the audience that she is not a completely horrible person, which really undermines the whole story. Murphy is not fit for this part, she comes off as shallow and delivers most of the poorly written dialogue as a stupid school girl. Really, the only bright spot in this movie is when Stacy gets what is coming to her (I laughed actually) and Holly Hunter. Hunter plays Stacy's co-worker Barb, who is always the devil on her shoulder, egging her on to worse and worse deeds. She is simply perfect for the role and is thoroughly evil.

All in all, this was a complete waste of time and money, I would encourage all to not only avoid this movie but to run the other way.
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An Amazing Waste of Resources! (Spoiler!!!)
debox-110 January 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This movie was libeled and advertised as a "romantic comedy." In reality, it was anything but that! If you take your boyfriend or husband to see this dark tale, you are sure to be free and single again! The movie is centered on a Jerry Springer-type live television show, not exactly the place for nurturing love and peace. The whole movie seemed to be based on crying, paranoid, scheming, emotionally-erratic women. My wife and I considered that a big put down to women in general. The film spent a lot of time on how flawed the female lead character (Brittany Murphy) was and seemed to have an endless number of scenes of her terrible deeds. Incredibly, the character, despite walking off her job and doing terrible things to almost very character, gets rewarded by a new job with major network news and a chance meeting with her favorite singer. This is so far-fetched, only Hollywood-types could dream it up. What major network news organization would hire a associate producer, of a local market Springer-type show, who walked off the job after demonstrating her treacherous nature on the air? If you want a better film to watch check out Working Girl with Harrison Ford.
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Wow was that crap and a half
OmGradGal23 January 2005
If i wasn't in the middle of a blizzard and had nothing else to do, Id demand the last 2 hrs of my life back.

Since you people generally like reasons for why stuff was crap: No plot line, pseudo-self discovery in what was supposed to be a romantic comedy, the self-discovery fell on its face hard, and in one scene stacy and barb start dancing around a room for NO reason. This was BAD. I wouldn't have finished it but i always see a movie through to its (in the case) incredibly craptacular end.

What I'm guessing was the point of the movie: Buy a palm and get Carly Simon cds.
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Train wreck of a movie
enddust30 August 2004
I saw this movie when I attended a free screening of it a couple weeks before it was released, and while I am no big fan of chick flicks, I had hopes for this film. The premise, a woman mining her boyfriend's black book and getting know his exes in order to get to know the real him, sounded interesting enough. And the following quote from Shakespeare (The Tempest) appeared on the screen before the titles came up:

Hell is empty; All the devils are here.

Ah, I thought to myself, this HAS to be a well-thought out movie, since the last movie I saw with a Shakespearean quote in it (Runaway Train) had been very very good. But I was wrong. This movie was to be a runaway train of a different sort.

In Little Black Book Brittney Murphy plays Stacy, an aspiring associate producer on a female version of the Jerry Springer Show, hosted by Kathy Bates as an aging and worn out trash TV hostess. Stacy's boyfriend (Ron Livingston of Office Space) goes on a two week business trip and, if you can believe this, forgets his handheld device and calls her to tell her he needs a couple of numbers from it. She sees a name in the address list and starts to get curious about his former girlfriends.

At this point, her bizarre chain-smoking overworked former bus driver and former something else (I can't recall at the moment) coworker played by Holly Hunter--who smokes everywhere indoors, which I haven't seen happen in real life since the late 70s--suggests she call one of the names from the handheld, a woman who just happens to be a supermodel (of course) who was on the show a while back, and stage a fake interview. But this fake interview is so that Murphy's character can actually gain info about her boyfriend's exes so that she can find more out about him while also doing the background for a potential show about little black books, but then it turns out later she isn't going to do the story about the black books, but then we aren't really sure.

Are you with me so far?

From this point, any semblance of a coherent story falls apart as she meets the other girlfriends but never really spends any time actually talking to them. Isn't she supposed to be talking to them about her ex? But no, she is only really interviewing them to come on the show for a different reason, so she really can't talk to them about her boyfriend, at least not directly. Instead, she has to lie and pretend to be doing something different and much time and steam is spent on side trips and watching the shocked look on her face. There is an undeveloped subplot involving the show's personnel as well as a nebbishy male coworker played by Kevin Sussman. The poor coworker's story seems to serve no other purpose than to use screen time, since the subplot involving him comes from nowhere and then goes nowhere.

As a result of Stacy not being able to talk openly to the exes that she meets become even more flat and one-dimensional than they already are. On top of that, Holly Hunter's character is given more weight than it should be for such a poorly drawn character, but that is perhaps due to Holly Hunter's starpower.

There are moments throughout the movie that drag on, and on, and on, and too many moments that were supposed to be funny just aren't. In the middle of a nice moment between the two main characters before he goes on his trip his dog passes gas. Not once, but twice. Har har. Sadly, the third act has a riveting climax that ties up a couple of loose ends but leaves us feeling cheated. By the time the movie finally finds a rhythm it is too late.

If you want to see a relationship movie that is thoughtful, witty, and charming, see High Fidelity with John Cusak. The difference between the two is so great it calls up the comparison Mark Twain made between the right word and the almost right word: If High Fidelity is lightning, then Little Black Book is the lightning bug.

1 Star
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My Wallet has Been Raided, Again
CraWill7 August 2004
This was a terrible waste of money and time. There was only one likable character (Derek's girlfriend Joyce). Everyone else was either evil or juvenile. I was wanting all of these people, except one, to fall over dead and end this horrible film. Brittany Murphy overacts beyond description and is completely irritating. Holly Hunter's tough, world-wise character was repulsive...she looked awful and tired throughout. Kathy Bates cashed the paycheck she received and ran...she looked like she hated this film as much as I did. Hollywood shows by this movie how much contempt they have for the moviegoer...they put out this garbage and know at least some will fall for it (shame on me). To sum a book, call a friend, do anything but see this movie!
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forget the facts - have fun!
susanjmasters10 August 2004
I found myself really enjoying this film, laughing out loud, at the jokes and situations. Sure, there are a lot of things that 'couldn't really happen' but....what if they did... Look for instance at The Three Stooges, Laurel and Hardy, The Marx Brothers. You would never really expect to see anyone in the situations these comics find themselves in, but still there we are enjoying their antics!

If you are looking for a fact based movie, this isn't the one to see...but if you want to have fun, go for it! I hope that you enjoy it as I have!
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Please Throw The Book At Me...
K-Slicer24 August 2004
...and give me a black eye. Of any and all pieces of media that I have ever seen, heard, touched, tasted and smelled, this is the worst piece to have the word 'black' in the title. There was no book, and it wasn't black. If it was meant to be a 'black comedy', then it fell on its face because it stumbled over a black cat. I shall cease the punspeak and continue my commentary in the accepted normalspeak.

There are some decent aspects to this pile of bunk and those reading this shall be spoiled: (1) Kathy Bates was probably the only ray of sunshine in this hopeless crock. She was sadly underplayed in my mind and she should have stolen this away from the cutesy starlet. (2) I have to say that Holly Hunter is still in top form. She can play a conniving b**** better than anyone that I have seen in quiet some time. While she isn't up there with Sharon Stone, she did prove the point that certain parts of the working world require backstabbing to survive. If an actor can make a philosophical point and make it well, then the performance is well-done I believe. (3) Extending the second reason, the climatic sequence was the best in the film. It came from nowhere in my mind considering certain hints were being dropped (Hunter's going-along with the plan, the Working Girl movie poster, Ira's obsession of the little black book idea). Maybe a more astute viewer could have seen it but I did not. I believe it was carefully plotted, written, acted, and filmed in order to incite a deep emotional reaction from the viewer. Is it just me or did the entire cast and crew read Aristotle before the sequence was shot? I could be missing the point but I am from the school that suggests philosophy is the underpinning of all human understanding. Three reasons give a score of three.

Now for the negativity: (1) Brittany Murphy blows like an untied balloon. She blows like the bitter cold winds that sweep across the high plains of North Dakota in the dead of winter. She can't act and she hasn't acted well in anything (except for Just Married, that was funny). I think this role could have been better for someone like Scarlett Johannsen. If she dyed her red locks blonde and chopped it short, she could pass as a Diane Sawyer wannabe. (2) What has happened to Ron Livingston? He is truly a no-hit wonder as far as I can tell. His best performance was in Office Space but that was a defeaningly silent failure at the box office. He had no heart in this movie despite whatever extending circumstances might have caused not to have it. (3) Carly Simon was used and abused in this movie. Maybe it was a mutual you-save-my-relevance-to-history-while-I-can-fill-up-my-bank-account-kind-of-agreement. Plainly, I believe the greatest chanteuse of the 1970's is trying to extend her relevance span much like Styx did with Adam Sandler in 1999's Big Daddy. It's pure exploitation for the sake of keeping the cash cow happy. (4) I hated the premise of this movie from the outset. Why can't the heads behind this film realize that the biggest questions cannot be answered? The question is, should past secrets stay buried or be revealed? The answer is BOTH, end of story! It depends on every relationship and every circumstance involving those relationships. She should have let the situation alone despite everything else involved and the world would have been at ease. That is why I hate doubt; when you are at ease, everything is right with the world. (5) I leave the psychobabble for more common sense themes. I hated how the character of Joyce got screwed because she was the one we were meant to root for. In fact, the other two women (the self-absorbed doctor and the shallow, vane model) didn't deserve the screwing either. While the situation was complex from the outset, they didn't deserve any of the attention. If you are outside the situation regardless of your flaws, then you don't deserve to be sucked in and then burned at the stake. The characters Murphy and Hunter played both deserved to be burned at the stake. (6) This movie attempted black comedy and failed miserably. It tried to express some opinions on the insatiable American appetite of reality TV and the cruelty of the world of television. I would think films like Network and Broadcast News (even Ringmaster with Jerry Springer) would profess those opinions in better ways. If this movie had marketed itself as that and the heads behind this film went more the jugular, this movie would been much better. I think if James L. Brooks had at least directed this movie and cast somebody like Holly Hunter or Scarlet Johannsen in the main role, then we might have something to talk about. (7) The ending was a farce so nothing more needs to be voiced.

Overall, this movie bites and I felt cheated for the most part. I did laugh in a few places but it just made me cringe over and over again. Somebody treated me out, so I waited until the end of the horror to make my opinions known to the world. When it's free, who says you can complain? If anyone out there has a little black book, burn it now so your significant other can never find it. If you are in a relationship that is more worthy than anything you had prior, why hold on to the past? It's the kind of stuff that makes Hollywood rob us of our hard-earned money.
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A chick flick evens the chicks didn't like
=G=29 March 2005
"Little Black Book" examines the foibles of one young woman (Murphy) who decides to "research" her significant other's prior romantic life as an adjunct to a TV reality talk show (think Jerry Springer) and learns some unexpected lessons in life in the process. A lively, fun, and occasionally poignant little bit of chick flick fluff, this movie suffered at the hands of critics, public, and chicks perhaps because people like a little romance with their romantic comedies and "LBB" has none to offer. An unexpectedly busy little story to nowhere which takes the chick flick milieu off course and into a sort of genre-bending neverland, this film seems to be trying to conjure some vague moral which never quite crystallizes. Nevertheless, Murphy and Hunter make capable bookends shoring up a pleasant assortment of side characters while the story slowly erodes their best efforts. Recommended for fans of the players but don't expect the usual satisfying romcom fare. Expect a Palm Pilot commercial instead. (C+)
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What is this film about?
meetjopeblack15 April 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Is it a parody of reality shows? Is it a love story? Is it a satire on media and new technology? Is it a prolonged music video of Carly Simon's songs? Is it about man's relationship with cosmic forces? I don't know. Forty minutes into the film and I still don't know where this film is heading. Hackneyed editing and dull voice overs, didn't do much to save the film. The movie wants to be brisk but it ended up losing the first forty minutes to nothing. The conflict started only at the 40 minute mark! Actually, this is the only commendable part in the movie--when the lead star was asking her friend about truth and lies in a relationship! After the famous verbal-hit-all-spill-all battle royale in the K-show, it's a downward spiral again when cosmic forces are called in to give a romantic twist in the movie.

There were thought-provoking questions though like, "if you're totally fulfilled in a relationship and found out that (the guy) cheated on you, would everything be a lie?" (sic) That's something noteworthy to ponder about. But after all your musings, this film fails to deliver what it aims to give.

What is the 'little black book'? Maybe the director and screenwriter left the answer in their own little black books. Won't recommend you see this.
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The cast shines in this decent comedy
christian1236 February 2005
Little Black Book is a decent romantic comedy and it was a lot better then I expected it to be. Brittany Murphy is Stacy Holt, a television talk show producer angry that her former boyfriend Derek (Ron Livingston) won't discuss his ex-girlfriends. With the help of a co-worker (Holly Hunter), she snoops into his Palm Pilot (the modern day equivalent of the title) and starts to interview them, only to find out that some of them are a little less "ex" than she presumed. The plot had a lot of potential and the cast carries the film decently but it could had been a lot better. Brittany Murphy was very good in this film and I think she will be a big movie star one day, she just needs better roles. Holly Hunter is also very good as Barb and she's entertaining to watch. Ron Livingston plays Derek and he's pretty good but not memorable. Rounding out the main part of the cast is Kathy Bates as Kippy Kan and she's funny in this film. I think the reason most people didn't like the movie was because there wasn't one character to feel sorry for. All of the characters were mean and hard to like which kills the movie. Little Black Book is a romantic comedy in the loosest definition of the word as its more of a dark comedy and romantic comedies also tend to have likable characters. There were some funny moments but not enough to sustain its running time. Nick Hurran does a decent job of directing and lucky for him he has a great cast. I really liked the ending because it was different and wasn't the typical ending that Hollywood films usually have. Also if you like Carly Simon then your in luck since you can hear her music throughout the film and she has a cameo. Rating 6/10 now that its out on video it may be worth a look just don't expect to much from it.
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Bad, Movie, Bad! Possible Spoilers.
LadyJaneGrey18 October 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Putrid. Bad acting, directing, storyline. The story had a lot of promise, along with a cast including Holly Hunter and Kathy Bates. Ron Livingston as her boyfriend is about as charming here as he was as Post-It-Note break-up artist Jack Berger on Sex and the City. Brittany Murphy is too charisma-free to carry a starring role. She was fabulous in Clueless, I loved her in it, as a secondary character part. Romantic lead, no, no, and NO. I just could not stand her in this role. Way too much Carly Simon music. Unbelievable ending, landing a job with Diane Sawyer and meeting Carly Simon on the same day. My opinion of this movie has nothing to do with it not being a typical "happy ending" movie where the girl and guy live happily ever after. Lots of truly great movies have endings like that (Casablanca to name just one). It is just bad bad bad. Kathy Bates looks lobotomized through this movie; perhaps she was hypnotized by the paycheck. The only good thing in it was Kevin Sussman. Take a pass.
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More than a chick flick
editor-9229 July 2004
I went to the preview thinking "Oh God who can take another chick flick," but it wasn't that at all. The writers seem to know how the formula for these types of films goes and they wisely twist the story so as to keep you guessing. And I LOVED the ending. Finally is all I can say! Brittany Murphy could easily be the 21st century's answer to Meg Ryan. She has the short blonde hair, the wide eyes, ever persistent smile and the infectious bubble in her personality. Not that that's bad. In fact, even when she's in some horrible films, I can't fault her. How could you? She's so cute you want to put her in your pocket. Holly Hunter steals every scene that she's in; this woman is fabulous. And Kathy Bates is another fine addition to this film. I should have known to expect more from a film that stars Hunter and Bates. Not to forget Julianne Nicholson, who was tremendous in Tully and the canceled-before-its-time "The Others." (Some please bring this show back!) Women will love this film. It's smart, funny and it has an adorable mastiff in it. Men won't leave the cinema groaning, either. My husband said it was the funniest show he's seen this year! Give it a chance. It won't disappoint.
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