21 May 2007 | evanston_dad
A Lame Effort, Partially Saved by Juliette Lewis
Is there a production company somewhere that specializes in churning out the kind of banal, unoffensive films that are frequently used as in-flight movies, and if so, is it responsible for this film?
A flight from London to Chicago happens to be where I saw this movie, and even with absolutely nothing else to do or distract me, I had trouble staying with it. "Catch and Release" isn't bad. It's too safe to be bad. Rather, it's painfully uninspired. It's the kind of movie you simply can't imagine anyone getting up the energy to make. Was there really a screen writer out there who thought this story needed desperately to be told, and actually went to the trouble to tell it? Was there really a director who decided he had to bring this story to the screen, a cinematographer who put effort into planning shots? Did any of the actors read this script and think it was a project they simply had to be involved with? Apparently, because we have the movie itself as proof that at least someone thought it was worth brining to audiences. And there are decent things about it, notably Juliette Lewis, who gives a delightful performance as a new-age hippie struggling with motherhood, who makes you wish the movie was about her every time she appears on screen. Jennifer Garner, who the movie is supposed to be about, fades into the background, because neither she as an actress nor the character as written is capable of drawing our attention to herself. The script is too timid to allow any dramatic conflict to last more than a couple of scenes, so loose ends are neatly tied up with assembly-line efficiency.
This is film-making at its most disposable.