In a year crowded with bad romantic comedies ("New in Town", "Bride Wars", 'The Ugly Truth"), this barely released 2009 film has to be the worst of a bad lot. Coming off another bad romantic comedy ("My Life in Ruins") which was slightly redeemed by the use of actual Greek locations, the usually likable Nia Vardalos ("My Big Fat Greek Wedding") made a serious mistake in playing triple duty here - writer, director and star - which basically means she was left on her own to determine the sensibility of her story, set the right tone, and emote in an empathetic fashion. She fails miserably on all three counts.
Vardalos plays Genevieve, a Brooklyn florist who has invented the particular contrivance of a five-date maximum for any man with whom she gets involved. Due to a predictable plot device, she believes all relationships are fundamentally doomed and that it's best to get the most that you can from those five dates and then leave. Because this fabricated quirk motivates this sitcom-level character, she naturally meets her match in Greg, a handsome yet socially awkward restaurateur, who walks into her shop. Casting her former co-star John Corbett in this role may have seemed like a good idea on paper, but Vardalos the screenwriter leaves them mired in clichés until the inevitable occurs.
I believe the fortyish Vardalos is trying to come across as a lovable free spirit as Genevieve, but with her frozen smile, she merely looks mechanical when expressing her idiotic philosophy. By contrast, Corbett looks tentative and frankly embarrassed to be in this venture. A promising supporting cast which includes Zoe Kazan, Jay O. Sanders, and Judah Friedlander, has been assembled and then promptly shafted by the ill-conceived script and slow pacing. The production details are amateurish, and Keith Power's original music is loud and irritating. This is one to avoid completely.