It seems like I keep saying this, but here we go again… Jennifer Anniston is way too good of an actress to be stuck in this film. Now, that’s certainly not to imply that Shirley Maclaine isn’t fantastic as well, but that’s a given. Anniston is clearly the star of this film, and it’s easy to see what attracted her to it. Not only is it a romantic comedy directed by Rob Reiner, but the premise is a really clever one. While in town for her sister’s wedding, Sarah (Anniston) discovers that her family was the inspirati…n for the book The Graduate. How could something with a plot this clever not work out?
This film may be the ultimate example of a great premise wasted. There are so many different things wrong with this film, but many of them can be boiled down to this; too many coincidences. Scene after scene is filled with conversations that work out in just the right way so as the actors get just the information they were looking for at just the right time. The plot is forced on the story, instead of the story leading the plot. The result is a movie that is a big, clumsy train wreck, instead of the fascinating and smart story that it should have been.
The audio on this disc is just a bit on the bland side. It is a 5.1 mix, but the surrounds are virtually non-existant. The sub is also greatly underutilized. As far as that goes, the audio doesn’t really travel very well either. The result is a mix that is perfectly adequate, but really could have faired just as well as a standard stereo mix. Some will say that in a romantic comedy, there is no need for a dynamic audio mix, but I completely disagree. Just because there aren’t any explosions, that’s no reason to neglect things like nuance and sound placement.
The video is better than the audio, but the two do seem to go together fairly well. The flesh tones are pretty accurate, and the complimenting colors are also surprisingly lifelike. On the down side, however, the film does have a pretty consistent problem with grain. It’s not enough that it becomes a major distraction, but it is more of a nagging nuisance. Black levels are decent, but seem to lack that deep, bottomless quality that is often found on many discs today.
You can tell that Warner Brothers didn’t have very high hopes for this disc when you get to the special features, and the only thing there is a theatrical trailer. It’s like the studio wanted to take this one final opportunity to try to convince the viewer that they actually do want to watch this film. The truth is, the only extra here that I really do like is the fact that the teaser for Superman Returns is included. I’m not so sure that the audiences for these two films are the same, but nevertheless, it is here, and it is quite possibly the most exciting thing on this disc.
If you are not sure if a film is good or not, a good rule of thumb is to check out the number of producers listed on the poster. The more chefs that work on the soup, the more muddled the broth becomes. Having said that, this film has seven different producers! I’m not sure how you make a mess out of a sure things, but somehow that is exactly what has happened here. I have all the hope in the word that Anniston will be able to find some more roles that are up to her skill level as an actress. Do yourself a favor… skip this mess and rent The Good Girl instead. She is an actress that is a master at portraying the aimless woman that just doesn’t see the power of her own limitless potential. Fantastic things are ahead for her, but this film is most certainly not it.
Special Features List
- Theatrical Trailer
- Superman Returns Trailer