12 April 2008 | Quinoa1984
pretty slight, but has enough wit to carry it along
Amy Heckerling's latest romantic comedy, I Could Never Be Your Woman, got, to use a proverbial word, shafted. It was meant for theatrical release and went straight to DVD due to some bad deals done with one of the producers. It's a shame despite the fact that Heckerling's comedy was far from being top-shelf work. It certainly stands a good chance at ranking well enough alongside (and probably better than) many of the tripe conventional market-stuffers that are out in cineplexes. Her film posits that a middle-aged TV writer (Michelle Pfieffer) has some angst and insecurities in dating one of the new stars of her TV show (Paud Rudd), and it's not a bad premise. This is also thrown in a quasi plot thread involving her daughter (Atonement's Saoirse Ronan, couldn't tell it was the same girl she's that good) as she tries to navigate her first possible boyfriend.
A lot of this isn't delivered with all of the best execution- certainly it's hard to figure on what exactly makes the Tracy Ullman bits funny as they're slipped in with some awkward soft-focus and at ill-timing- and there's something kind of fishy about putting such an actress like Michelle Pfieffer, who is still incredibly beautiful for any age, in the role of an insecure woman who can't see herself with such a younger man after such a long break from being with a man. At the same time, there is a good deal that does work to Heckerling's advantage, such as the bond between the mother and daughter in the story that doesn't ring as being sappy or trite like in other rom-coms or flicks with mother-daughter talks and such. And almost in spite of the bright lighting, Paul Rudd lays on the same charm and wit carried over from the Judd Apatow comedies (if, of course, nowhere near as funny in the sensibility of crudeness). And who can't love Jon Lovitz or Fred Willard?
So with I Could Never Be Your Woman, it's good for a rental, but that's not really the point with the release issue. It's the kind of movie, as with Heckerling's others, that play for laughs with a big audience, and are perfect for a certain niche of female viewers and die-hard rom-com afficionados. It's light and slight and not too terrible, if not much memorable either.