Thursday, January 9, 2014

Heartbreakers (2001) Review:

When it comes to comedy films that involves lying, there has to be a clear line drawn of when and where the conscious of the person who is lying begins to work. Unfortunately, this movie can't decide on that. The story follows a mother and daughter who professionalize in being con artists. Their specialty - seducing, marrying and divorcing men into giving them the majority of their money. This would be funny if the film's main characters had focused on a man they had dealt with in the past but no. They decide to take on the everyday guy just for the sake of getting quick money. This is not how it should be done. This should be a revenge comedy against one man, not the entire gender universally.

Ray Liotta
What's even more astonishing is the wide scale range that the casting department chose for their actors. The mother and daughter are played by Sigourney Weaver (the Alien (1979) franchise) and Jennifer Love Hewitt (I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997)) respectively. There's Ray Liotta (Unlawful Entry (1992)), Jason Lee (who would later play Syndrome in The Incredibles (2004)), Jeffrey Jones from Beetlejuice (1988), Gene Hackman from Superman (1978), Zach Galifianakis (from the Hangover (2009) franchise) and even Carrie Fisher from Star Wars (1977) is acting in here. How could such a large cast of good actors still make such an average film?

In fact, a lot of these actors' scenes are wasted because they are similar to other characters they have played. Weaver is probably the most complex but also the character with the on-off conscious. Hewitt plays the confused girl not knowing what to think of her emotions. Liotta continues to play his usual violent egomaniac, although there is a scene where he even grows a conscious (briefly); that scene I enjoyed the most. And Jason Lee just plays the clueless cutie boy who has no idea what's going on around him. As for the rest of the cast mentioned before, they really do have wasted scenes. None of them are funny scenes either.

It just doesn't make sense. You have director David Mirkin, who has worked with comedies before like The Simpsons (1989) and the same name titled movie of 2007. Maybe it's his lack of directing features that pass 30 minutes. He's only released one other theatrical film, maybe he wasn't ready? And how come three writers couldn't form a more consistent plot. So much of it is back and forth between what is right and wrong which becomes tiresome. It will make people want to tell the characters to make a decision already. And it's not like they couldn't make a good script. Two of these writers were apart of Liar Liar (1997) which many people consider a good movie (speaking of which that that movie was also related to lying). Hmmm.

Jason Lee & Jennifer Love Hewitt
Anyway, so it's not easy to say who is the weak link here. John Debney's music was ok. It had goofy tunes, which did alright in helping the scenes, but still didn't help the consistency of the tone. The comedy was also very bland. The main actors don't give much charm to their characters. Sure they dress up and talk like other people but that doesn't always make them funny. Some viewers may also find it sexist of how it portrays both genders. Men are lustful and dumb, while women are seductive and calculative. Then again, it can also be taken as an empowering portrayal. It really depends on what the audience wants to see. I for one found nothing of either side except an average comedy that had a little promise but didn't accomplish much.

For a comedy with such a strong cast, it seems like this could have audiences laugh a lot. Sadly, the characters are too cliche and the tone flip flops making it just an average movie.

Points Earned --> 5:10

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