Benjamin Barry is an advertising executive and ladies' man who, to win a big campaign, bets that he can make a woman fall in love with him in 10 days. Andie Anderson covers the "How To" beat for "Composure" magazine and is assigned to write an article on "How to Lose a Guy in 10 days." They meet in a bar shortly after the bet is made.
In London, Iris Simpkins writes a wedding column in a newspaper and nurtures an unrequited love for her colleague Jasper Bloom. Near Christmas, she is informed that Jasper is engaged to marry another colleague, and her life turns upside down. In Los Angeles, the movie-trailers maker Amanda Woods has just split with her unfaithful boyfriend Ethan and wants to forget him. Through a house exchange website, Amanda impulsively swaps her mansion for Iris' cottage in Surrey for the holidays. While in Surrey, Amanda meets Iris' brother and book editor Graham and they fall in love with each other. Meanwhile, Iris meets her new next door neighbor the ninety year old screenplay writer Arthur, who helps her retrieve her self-esteem, and the film composer Miles, with whom she falls in love.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The website Amanda and Iris use to exchange houses is a real website, homeexchange.com. See more »
As Arthur and Iris talk in his office, his Oscar (behind him) faces left, then faces them, then faces left again. When it faces left, it is normal-size, but when it faces them, it is smaller-than-normal in relation to its base, but when it faces left again, is normal-size again. See more »
Who is it?
It's me. Hurry up. It's freezing.
Who are you?
Iris, open the door or I swear I'm gonna take a leak all over your front...
[Amanda quickly opens the door]
You're not Iris. Or if you are I'm much drunker than I realized. I'm sorry for my profanity. I wasn't expecting you.
No, I wasn't expecting you either.
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Iris (Kate Winslett), attractive, if somewhat dowdy, young English journalist (she works for that citadel of fogeyism, the "Daily Telegraph"), on the rebound from an affair with the shiftless Jasper (Rufus Sewell), one of the paper's columnists, decides she needs a Christmas holiday. She goes on-line and has soon swapped her Christmas-card pretty, but cramped, Surrey cottage with a mansion in Bel – Air owned by Amanda (Cameron Dias), the ebullient head of a company that makes movie trailers, who has just thrown out her latest useless partner. The girls swap places and in no time Amanda is romancing Iris's dishy brother Graham (Jude Law). Meanwhile in Hollywood Iris is getting to know Miles (Jack Black), a workmate of Amanda's, and a 90 year old neighbour, Arthur (Eli Wallach) who happens to be one of Hollywood's forgotten great writers.
One can of course dismiss this sort of stuff as glossy fairy floss because basically, despite all the money and talent expended in making it, that is what it is - "Love, Improbable." This film is rather long for its genre, over two hours, and it does drag a bit, as if the scriptwriters couldn't decide how to end it. However it must be admitted that Kate Winslett and Jude Law are always interesting to watch on screen and Cameron Diaz has a nice line in parodying some of her earlier performances. Rufus Sewell shows he can out-act Hugh Grant any day (not hard I guess). Jack Black on the other hand seemed strangely out of place as Ms W's love interest – romantic comedy doesn't seem to be his forte, he's more of your gross-out guy. It was nice though to see Eli Wallach, a great Hollywood tough guy of old, who at 90 seems to have the market for nice old buffers sewn up, as the neighbour.
Perhaps I am setting my standard too high, but compared to "Four Weddings and a Funeral", "Notting Hill", "Bedrooms and Hallways" and even "Love, Actually", this was a pile of mush, far too sweet and sticky and nice. Good comedy needs a certain bite, a reality bite, a bit of astringency, whereas what we are given here is pure fairyland escapism. Writer/Director Nancy Myers has a record of light entertaining stuff ("The Parent Trap", "Father of the Bride") and she certainly is not trying to extend her range here.
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