A remake of a 1968 picture starring Sandy Dennis and Anthony Newley, this whimsical weeper gets off to an awkward start and never finds its footing. Hard-driving, San Francisco advertising whiz Nelson Moss (Keanu Reeves) has a sleek apartment, a neglected girlfriend and no life to speak of outside work, where he and partner-in-slime Vince (Greg Germann) are currently retooling the staid image of Dr. Diggity hot dogs for a younger, hipper consumer. But Nelson is forced to spend an afternoon at the Department of Motor Vehicles renewing his driver's license, and there he meets the force of nature that is Sara Deever (Charlize Theron). They don't exactly meet cute the encounter is too forced for that but they're thrown together and mix like Perrier Jouet and wheatgrass extract. Though Nelson is clearly repelled by Sara's free-spirited ways and cluttered apartment, she boldly invites him to move in with her. Just for a month, she explains; she has this gift for helping people with their problems, and can see Nelson is one screwed-up workaholic who needs to stop and smell some roses. Nelson can be the subject of her emotional make-over for November, she giggles. Nelson thinks she's insane, and it's hard not to agree. Maybe this kind of obstinate nuttiness seemed refreshing back in 1968, but in 2001 it seems disordered (not to mention self-destructive), and a romance that's meant to shimmer with fairy dust is in trouble when you're siding with the arrogant jackass. To paraphrase the old acting adage, dying is easy; romantic comedy is hard. It's almost painful, watching the dutiful deployment of tortured plot devices necessary to position Nelson and Sara so the romance mechanism can get started and then its gears grind so noisily it's impossible to surrender to the fantasy. The utter absence of chemistry between Reeves and Theron is just the last nail in this colossal misfire's coffin.
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- Released: 2001
- Rating: PG-13
- Review: A remake of a 1968 picture starring Sandy Dennis and Anthony Newley, this whimsical weeper gets off to an awkward start and never finds its footing. Hard-driving, San Francisco advertising whiz Nelson Moss (Keanu Reeves) has a sleek apartment, a neglected… (more)