Friday, August 27, 2010

Never Mind The Bullocks

Last year was a big one for Sandra Bullock. After years of so-so grosses, she had her biggest hit with The Proposal, and later an even bigger hit (in a role that won her an Oscar) in The Blind Side. In between, however, she made All About Steve, one of the worst-reviewed films of the year. I finally caught it on TV.

The critics were right, it's no good. But it's interesting to compare it to The Proposal, which grossed eight times as much. They're both comedies, but very different otherwise.

In The Proposal, Bullock plays a dragon lady who pretends to be married to a handsome underling so she can stay in the country. She takes a trip with him and, predictably, loosens up and falls in love. It's a competently done romantic comedy with no real surprises.

All About Steve is a farcical comedy where Bullock plays a loser who creates crossword puzzles and can't stop talking. She goes on a blind date with a hunk and immediately falls in love. He's a cameraman who travels around the country with a vain newsman as they cover the disaster du jour. Bullock believes they're soulmates and starts stalking him, much to his horror. After meeting many nice people along the way, she falls into a hole and needs to be rescued.  Interestingly, she realizes at the end she and the cameraman aren't meant for each other.

Her character here is pretty grating, even shrill. You don't know whether to be annoyed or feel sorry for her. And yet, as incompetently made as it is, I found All About Steve more interesting than The Proposal. At least it was willing to take chances, and go places most movies wouldn't. The characters are mostly absurd, yet I'm guessing if the comedy were done better you wouldn't care.

But the film should also be a warning. The Proposal, which has heart, and gives the audience what it wants (including laughs), makes big money. A bizarre film featuring unrelatable characters and goes in odd directions keep people away.


Post a Comment

<< Home

web page hit counter