Film Openings

Week of December 10, 2003

Gloomy Sunday (unrated) Rolf Schübel. Opens Friday, December 12, at the Plaza Frontenac. Reviewed this issue.

Love Don't Cost a Thing (PG-13) Troy Beyer. With a few tweaks to render it "urban" (a weird euphemism meaning, roughly, "after the fashion of contemporary African-Americans"), this project is a remake of that not-seminal '80s non-classic Can't Buy Me Love. Replacing Patrick Dempsey in the dork role is game Nick Cannon (Drumline), one of those 22-year-old high school seniors with lessons to learn. Doing the teaching is a wealthy, shallow, thoroughly unlikable bimbo named Paris (Christina Milian) who gently dents her mommy's hideous Cadillac Escalade that our automotively inclined dork may repair it. In return, she agrees to pretend she likes him, and the aggressively implausible plot charts his rise and fall as a stud, or whatever. Somehow, in the midst of this formulaic mire, director Troy Beyer (Let's Talk About Sex) has produced a string of reasonably lively moments, dropping a lot of funk and sex and humor into the remix. In particular, Steve Harvey as the dork's old-school funkster dad steals the show. Sadly, though, the movie as a whole feels blatantly dedicated to fleecin' da kidz. Opens Friday, December 12, at multiple locations. (Gregory Weinkauf)

Something's Gotta Give (PG-13) Nancy Meyers. Jack Nicholson is dating Amanda Peet, but just as they're about to get busy in her mom's beach house, he starts getting chest pains. Mom (Diane Keaton) and her best friend, Zoe (Frances McDormand), have shown up to embarrass everyone, and they get the old man to the hospital in time, where Dr. Keanu Reeves (in an astonishingly relaxed and believable performance) tells him he isn't in good enough shape to travel. This wacky contrivance ensures that ol' Jack ends up staying at Keaton's house, where his rowdy manner can slowly melt into true love. Nicholson was on the right track last year in About Schmidt, so it's a shame to see him slumming for an easy paycheck here. Keaton can't be blamed, really; she's utterly convincing and charming, first as a guarded woman with an acidic wit, then as a mature woman feeling the giddiness of love again for the first time in a decade or two. If only the movie deserved her: Writer-director Nancy Meyers's script is practically nonexistent. Opens Friday, December 12, at multiple locations. (Luke Y. Thompson) Stuck on You (PG-13) Bobby and Peter Farrelly. Opens Friday, December 12, at multiple locations. Reviewed this issue.

 
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