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If you already suffer from SAD, skip this movie. CONTAINS SPOILERS
I just couldn't believe ALL THAT TALENT and not one emotion stirred, except puzzlement and discomfort. Not so much by what's going on in the movie, but what made these great talents agree to this. Chazz must be a wonderful human being for all of these wonderful actors to agree to be in his movie and give him an opportunity to direct them. I don't blame Chazz at all, it's visually appropriate. I don't think it's the direction, I think it's the original premise. It's so - almost - moving.
Susan's "anti-testimonial" was really interesting because I've been a non-professional speaker who was able to tell a compelling story to friends and then bomb when telling the same story to a large group using a microphone. Susan nailed it. Another scene I thought was interesting was the violent nature of the cop. Really true to life. Violence is very quick, not visually dramatic, but can have life-altering consequences. Cops have a higher incidence of domestic violence than other professions. (not a verified scientific fact, but something near and dear to my heart). If I were Penelope, I probably wouldn't have been that thrilled about bringing a baby into this relationship without a few rounds of life changing therapy. I'm going there because at the end, that's what immediately came to mind.
The cop's partner was also an unnecessary distraction -- why such a stereotypical jerk?
The hand breaker's story was just plain weird. (a headscratcher) I missed the very beginning, so it wasn't until reading the first post did I understand why. Very strange and no further comment about that.
Okay, now that I have pondered the movie, I do like it better than I did when I began this review. There were subtleties throughout. So, my recommendation is to see the movie, BUT not at Christmastime.
I'm so underwhelmed!
POSSIBLE SPOILERS --
I love Dennis Quaid and I like Meg Ryan. I was looking forward to seeing them together, being married and all, I wanted to see their on-screen chemistry. Okay, that being said, I guess the fact that they are actors, their off-screen relationship didn't have to permeate their performances, especially with this script.
How stupid can a professor be to glue himself to anyone. I don't remember the original, but I can only assume that O'Brien probably was handcuffed to his leading lady, probably in a more inevitable way. If I were "bonded" to someone I'd be pretty angry. The crush I would have would definitely have dissipated quickly. Meg showed not even a little annoyance only slight surprise. Dennis would have to take me kicking and screaming. That whole section of the movie was so horrible -- especially Meg having to go to the bathroom (#2) between dumpsters in the dark at night. Ewww. No f****ing way!
What's with Dennis socking every single suspect in the movie. Sock first ask questions later. Not once, not twice but too many times -- I could have kept count if I were so inclined.
The most interesting part of the movie was Nick and his family drama. Too bad that couldn't have become more of the plot. The assumed off-screen drama leading up to this tragedy. I think it could have been written in without distracting from Dex' quest.
My blame lies with the writer of this screenplay. Unless the director and others doctored it up so much that it's unrecognizable.
I won't even get into the real reason poor Dex was murdered. How ludicrous is that. Even when Dex confronted the real killer and the reason was explained, (a true "film noir" moment) everyone on screen seemed bored. Oh, _____ happened. Oh. (yawn) "Dex even says this is a silly reason for a triple murder. Oh the tension, you could cut it with a spoon.
If anyone but Dennis had been in this movie, I'd have to give it 1/2 star (only because I really have seen worse), but in this case 1 1/2 stars.
For Dennis and Meg stars, see ANYTHING ELSE.