11 October 2002 | bob the moo
Not quite as sparkly as you'd want but still amusing
Andy and Liz are due to be married at the weekend and meet up with friends for a meal. During the meal Liz is told the story of another of their friends, Mickey and Ellen who met when Mickey had flown to Paris to bury his father. After a romance in Paris they marry, the story follows their ups and their downs.
Billy Crystal is effortlessly funny when he has good material and a good vehicle. He shows this most years recently by towering over the Oscars with his jokes and one liners. However he cannot totally make an average film worth watching, even if he can make it better. Here the plot is interesting it strays away from a normal romantic film by following Mickey and Ellen through the bad times and good times in their relationship. However it suffers from a lack of energy at times it almost feels ponderous. The restaurant interludes help keep it moving but it doesn't quite have the spark that `When Harry Met Sally' had.
Crystal tries hard and has plenty of clever material and witty remarks to mark. However it's not as sharp as you'd hope it to be some of it feels like the man has mellowed with age. Happily he does bring the laughs regularly. Winger isn't as good and the chemistry between her and crystal just isn't there to the extent it needed to be. Mantegna is solid, as are Spencer, Moriarty and Kavner (Marge!). Costanzo has only a few lines but is very funny as the waiter (`it's like me
etc'). The array of basketball stars is fun to watch and makes Crystal seem more relaxed and funnier.
Overall this is quite witty and fans of Crystal's style will enjoy it, however it lacks energy and spark for most of the film. However there's enough wit and plot to make it a solid if not brilliant romantic comedy.