if 30 minutes into it you want to yank your own eyeballs out and eat them to save you from this sort of floundering mess in the future.
What is so completely shocking about this amateurish weak arse dribble of a film is that while Reese Witherspoon is never top of my list, she's not exactly atrocious and almost everyone else involved in this film has done much much better and will probably do much better again, we can only hope.
Yes once in a while Paul Rudd will stumble into a howler or two ("I could never be your woman" anyone?), Owen Wilson faltered his steady stream of watchable, enjoyable romps with Marley & Me and even the sheen has slightly faded on old Mr.Nicholson after The Bucket List (although his resume is still extraordinarily respectable and lacking the massive Blunders of pears De Niro and Pacino) and yet what were the chances that all four of these established Hollywood actors would show up in one almighty blunder? How would I know! I can only imagine that the usually reliable James L Brooks roofied them all, filmed them all engaging in lurid acts with a penguin and has it hanging over their heads.
The plot is utterly redundant, tedious and devoid of laughs. Basically Reese Witherspoon can no longer play softball or something and instead of just getting one of those sports-personality endorsement deals for a shoe or something, decides instead to shack up with air-headed, insensitive, womaniser Wilson and is then hideously shocked and surprised when it continually doesn't work out. One to many softballs in the face apparently.
On the other end of the banality spectrum there is Rudd and his father Nicholson. Rudd runs Nicholson's company, what that is we are never told or fully explained but the company is being investigated, again for what, no one really ever tells us that either. Rudd, being head of said company, is therefor in the firing line but we never really see this either, we are just told it and so he has plenty of time on his hands to wander about while Nicholson occasionally shows up to rain a little more on hapless Rudd's parade with little to no information other than it's bad news and Rudd should panic. Rudd is never once interviewed by the IRS or the Feds or anyone and the whole strand of the narrative seems unnecessarily sloppy, confusing and pointless. What is even more frustrating is the storyline is never entirely or satisfactorily concluded which makes you leave the cinema even more dumbfounded and gobsmacked that you sat through the whole sorry disaster to begin with.
Rudd and Witherspoon contrive to meet on the worst day both of them are having and in a very not-very-cute "meet-cute" Rudd decides he likes the gravestone chinned Witherspoon and rather than anything resembling hilarity or romance ensuing we spend the rest of the film knowing they'll get together but have to watch two hours of worthless and pitiful crap where the only obstacle to their groinal happiness is the never faithful and imbecilic Wilson and the fact that Witherspoon continues to claim they are boyfriend and girlfriend, despite her spending all her time with Rudd and hardly any with him!
The whole thing is comparable to being flogged with chicken wire while a dwarf anally batters you with a fence post and at least in that scenario the fence post has a point.
All of this twatting about would probably be bearable if the whole film didn't look like it was put together by the same team that put together the sets for televised puppet shows in the 50s. Considering the pedigree of it's director, Mr. James L Brooks, it looks like he is trying to take tips from the people who make daytime soaps in which evil twin brothers steal the ruby of eternal life from the nuns only to find out the girl he had a crush on in high school is really his aunt.
So slam bad writing and bad directing together with impossibly poor production values and a cast who all look like they could do with a long lie down, some strong drugs or a damn good talking to and you have this years worst romantic comedy so far, mainly because it's neither romantic nor at all funny in any way at all. The bit in the trailer about the lamp is the best bit in the film and it's funnier in the trailer.
Unfortunately a sad day for all involved, Witherspoon will take this in her stride, she's used to this sort of mindless, inconsequential project that's not unlike being forced to smell the flecks from big foot's arse hair but the rest of them, not unlike actors thinking that working with Woody Allen now is still something to be happy about, need to read the script closer in future, it's only worth doing if it's any good.
Next up Owen Wilson works with Woody Allen (I slap my head with despair).
2 out of 10 sneezes into a salad that's already glazed liberally with giraffe shit
Points from The Wife 2 out of 10