27 September 2006 | bopdog
Good cast playing kind of annoying characters. Maggie Gyllenhaal was the star here.
This is one of those ensemble romantic comedy movies. A bunch of 'characters' are mixed together, and go through the ups and downs of married life, and singles love life, etc. It can be as interesting as any other. And newness, or outright freshness is NOT a requirement for this kind of movie to work. After all, isn't it true that most of us can relate to screen people falling in love, having problems, facing dilemmas, and overcoming them? However, even though the cast is first rate, and there are lots of 'scenes' and lots of things happening, the flow is kind of stilted. The characters seem a little too pat, too 'drawn', too much like some script writer's IDEA of what people in love situations should be like, to be interesting. Like a mediocre comedian trying desperately hard to be funny, these characters try desperately hard to be poignant and interesting. And that, sadly, makes them exactly NOT very real, and not very interesting.
Maggie Gyllenhaal was probably the best character in this movie. She's a quirky and marvelous actor, with a great down-to-earth female presence. Ellen Barkin, in her brief and inserted-looking cameo, was also great. She is one stupendous old broad! Seriously, she is a hot and sexy woman of 52.
I have to say that although Billy Crudup (has he thought about changing that name? Jeez!) was wonderful in 'Almost Famous', here was a royal pain in the bottom. What an annoying character!!! And ditto for David Duchovney's character, although his wasn't quite as annoying, he was nonetheless maddeningly stupid (the character, not the actor).
Julianne Moore was solid--- nothing too hot, nothing too bitchy. But again, the exciting person here was Maggie G.
Overall, this was kind of clumsy, and a little bit strained. But I still 'liked' it OK enough. It would make a pleasant date movie. I gave it a judicious 6 out of 10.