After eight years globetrotting as a travel writer, a family emergency puts Pippa McGee in the editor's chair at Wedding Bells, the magazine she'd be least-likely to read. She's a self-described slut who doesn't see the value of marriage much less the point of weddings and wedding magazines. For her first issue, she tries edgy and iconoclastic. Can she pull it off? Meanwhile, the gulf between herself and her father impedes her work and her personal life, and her mistrust of commitment is tested by her involvement with a photographer named Hemingway and her interactions with Ian, her father's second-in-command. Is there a Mr. Darcy for this Miss Bennett, a Benedict for this Beatrice?Written by
Heather Graham stars in this pretty pink lace bow of a movie, alternately flashing her pearly white smile and puppy dog eyes from scene to scene. One gets the feeling that watching the straight-to-DVD release with you are thousands of sorority girls braiding each other's hair while wearing fluffy animal slippers and pretending to cry.
Graham plays Pippa McGee (a movie name if there ever was one), a free spirit (slut) with a penchant for impulsive decisions (one night stands) and globe hopping adventures (inability to commit). We get the prerequisite explanations for her issues: A mother who died when she was a teenager; A distant father who is too hard on her; A group of friends who have an unspoken pact to remain independent and strong without the help of a man.
Pippa returns from one of her freelance adventure trips to find her father on the verge of a heart-attack and in need of someone to help run one of his magazines... Surprise, surprise... It is a bridal magazine named 'Wedding Bells'. And isn't that just the dream job for girls who wear pink pajamas? Needless to say, the magazine causes her problems being that she stands for everything that the magazine condemns. Her first issue is an unqualified disaster.
Then, as per screen writing 101, she meets two guys who will inevitably form the other two corners of the film's love triangle. Taye Diggs plays the studly photographer who shares Pippa's love for non-committal sex and fun. David Sutcliffe plays the straight-laced business man who wants more from Pippa than a quickie in the hot-tub.
I am one of the biggest romantics you'll meet, but even I have nothing but respect for singles who feel that marriage is a ludicrous institution that is either ultimately doomed to fail or descend into a comfortable acceptance of routine and safe boredom. This film seems to be championing the notion that women shouldn't feel the need to 'find a man' in order to feel complete. But the final act pulls the rug from under that notion and the movie fizzles into a standard rom-com riddled with "You Go Girlfriend" scenes and cheesy b-grade love songs.
Now... I think that Heather Graham is utterly underrated as an actress because of a few choice roles as the quintessential ditzy blonde with big boobs. But she has actually been far better than people give her credit for in films like "Boogie Nights", "Two Girls & a Guy", "Sidewalks of New York", "Swingers" & "The Guru". She is quite easily capable of carrying a film with energy and charisma. She is even good in this fluffy film despite having little to work with in terms of a script.
I liked the pace of the film. I thought Heather was fun to watch. The romances are cutesy, if not substantive. The 'friends' are amusing from time to time, led by the always refreshing Sandra Oh (Sideways) and Sarah Chalke (Scrubs). Diggs and Sutcliffe are nice counterpoints to one another. And the overall production was colorfully distracting enough to merit a passable grade. But there isn't anything here to really chew on... well hardly anything. "Cake" is a high-school cheerleader's wet dream of what life might become. I say we let her have that dream before she gets knocked up by the college senior who will dump her, leaving her to drop out of school as a single mom applying for a job at Taco Bell.
TC Candler IndependentCritics.com
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