14 March 2008 | Michael_Elliott
Overnight Delivery (1998)
** (out of 4)
Wyatt Tripps (Paul Rudd) isn't your typical college student. Instead of drinking beer, getting high and on the prowl for women, Wyatt is a gentleman who's madly in love with his girlfriend (Christine Taylor) who he's known since high school. The two made a commitment to hold off on sex until marriage but after a dreadful phone call Wyatt begins to think that she's cheating on him. Entering the picture is Ivy Miller (Reese Witherspoon), a former stripper with the heart of gold.
Wyatt pours his soul out to Ivy but she isn't the type of girl who believes in love. She tells Wyatt that the only way for him to get back on his feet is to regain his ego. She suggests that he sends his girlfriend an overnight letter telling her that's he's the one cheating on her and wants to break up. Wyatt does this but the next morning he learns that the girlfriend really isn't cheating so he and Ivy hit the road trying to intercept the letter before the love of his life gets it. Along the way Wyatt and Ivy learn more about one another and I'll let you guess what happens.
Overnight Delivery is just one of many romantic comedies where the first eight-minutes we have the main characters fighting, screaming, fighting and doing more screaming yet in the final five minutes we get the typical ending, which we've come to expect from this type of film. A movie like this depends on liking the main characters, which is half the problem with the film. The other problem is that we've seen this way too many times so there's so surprises along the way and in the end we're left with an unoriginal film that doesn't have much of anything going for it.
Paul Rudd is best known for his role in Clueless but I've never really cared for him in anything. I'm not sure how much direction he was actually getting but the performance is very weak because this guy has no identity. One minute he's acting like a mature gentlemen yet the next minute he's acting like a buffoon. Rudd fails on both levels because he's good guy act comes off as hokey and all his jokes come off without any laughs. Reese Witherspoon is the best young actress working today and she does the most with what the screenplay offers. She's pretty much just along for the ride but she's at least easy on the eyes and brings that certain charm of hers to the film.
Although Witherspoon is very good in the film she has no chemistry whatsoever with Rudd, which just makes the film even harder to get through. The so called best of these types of films usually at least have charming leads but that's no the case here and I'm going to guess that's why this film got a limited theatrical run before hitting video. The screenplay isn't fresh, isn't sharp and it really doesn't contain anything we haven't seen before. There are a few dirty sexual jokes but these come off very badly and you'll just be sitting there rolling your eyes. Overnight Delivery isn't the worst of its kind but outside of Reese there's really nothing to watch.