No filmmaker can spin a gossamer romantic comedy without a skein of star chemistry and charm. The two leads of ONLY YOU, Andrew McCarthy and Kelly Preston, don't possess that mystery ingredient that allows some performers to coast over pedestrian direction and bankrupt material.
A craftsman of doll houses with a childish attitude toward women, Clifford Codfrey (McCarthy) nearly has a nervous breakdown when his dream girl dumps him on the eve of their pre-nuptial trip to Mexico. Unable to retrieve his fare from Claire (Helen Hunt), a lovely and extremely patient travel
agent, he storms off to a bar where he picks up Amanda (Kelly Preston) a beautiful but inebriated bimbo. Upon waking up south of the border with a hangover, Amanda agrees to stay with nerdish Cliff--with some liberal stipulations about space and freedom.
While this shallow siren leads Cliff around by the nose, he bumps into Claire, who's really a fledgling photographer staying at his hotel to shoot a travel brochure. While Amanda gambols with college jocks, Cliff serves as a model for Claire's photo shoot. Whenever he exhibits signs of good
judgment, the tawny Amanda reels the sucker back in. Cliff finally abandons the scheming sexpot on a plane and tries to track down Claire, the true-blue love of his life. At a K-Mart-type department store he professes his love over the loudspeaker. For no discernible reason, Claire forgives him,
providing the film with an unearned happy ending.
In defense of McCarthy and Preston, ONLY YOU would probably have taxed the allure of Cary Crant and Irene Dunne. Is the arrested romantic development of an insensitive clod really a fitting starting point for a light comedy? And how are viewers supposed to respond to the dream babe--although she
emerges as the villain of the piece, isn't her self-absorption the perfect match for Cliff?
Watching this inane love triangle, one can only shake one's head and say real people do not behave this way. Cliff, Amanda and Claire are just stick figures poorly updated from the lovestruck fools and moony romantics of 1930s screwball comedies. In a contemporary context, their behavior is
unpleasant or implausible at best. And since these swinging singles are interpreted by the charisma-less Preston and the color-less McCarthy, the viewer grows increasingly irritated by their sexual maneuverings and cutesy overplaying.
Because the reliable girlfriend-as-savior figure is played by the luminous Helen Hunt (THE WATERDANCE, MR. SATURDAY NIGHT), too much of our sympathy goes to her. The world does not need another comedy about a woman's ability to forgive almost anything in order not to end up alone on New Year's
Eve. (Nudity, sexual situations.)
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- Released: 1992
- Rating: PG-13
- Review: No filmmaker can spin a gossamer romantic comedy without a skein of star chemistry and charm. The two leads of ONLY YOU, Andrew McCarthy and Kelly Preston, don't possess that mystery ingredient that allows some performers to coast over pedestrian direction… (more)