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What a sad spectacle it is to see talented actors trying to salvage a decent film out of a terrible script. The spectacle is even more depressing when the doomed movie is a comedy. Like fish that have washed ashore, the actors flop around desperately, gasping for laughs where there are none. In the painfully inept romantic comedy America's Sweethearts, the victims are John Cusack, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Billy Crystal, Christopher Walken and Stanley Tucci, among others. Julia Roberts is also on hand, but her presence in this second-rate junk is not particularly surprising. America's Sweethearts is terrible for a number of reasons, but the most shocking is how little it seems to know about the movie business. The film aims to be a subversive satire about Hollywood, and particularly about the shallow spectacle of movie press junkets. Yet instead of using observation and wit to make a truly biting comedy, America's Sweethearts relies on the most obvious and contrived jokes imaginable. The premise of the film is promising: two Hollywood superstars, Eddie (John Cusack) and Gwen (Catherine Zeta-Jones), are lovers both on-screen and off, and are the most popular actors of their time. When their relationship breaks and the two go their separate ways, their movies begin to bomb, much to the dismay of the producer Dave Kingman (Stanley Tucci). For the sake of the couple's final film together, a studio executive named Lee Phillips (Billy Crystal) attempts to convince the public that Gwen and Eddie are still an item. This is complicated by Gwen's relationship with a latin lover (Hank Azaria) and by Eddie's growing love for Gwen's shy sister Kiki (Julia Roberts). The abundance of romantic entanglements in America's Sweethearts suggests that the film is attempting to emulate the formula of the 1930s screwball comedies. Unfortunately, America's Sweethearts fails miserably as both a romance and a satire. Cusack and Roberts are simply too bland for us to care about, and there is absolutely no chemistry between the two actors. Meanwhile, the satirical jabs delivered by the film fall flat, largely because they are too broad and predictable to make us laugh. One would think that people like Billy Crystal who understand the comic insanity of Hollywood would be able to satirize the industry in an insightful way. Yet at every turn, America's Sweethearts settles for a mediocre and stale spin on the foibles of Hollywood. At this point, it is safe to say that we are all familiar with the concepts of spoiled movie stars, eccentric directors and greedy producers. None of the actors are able to transcend their caricatured roles, and as a result, none of the characters are at all compelling (and one, played by Hank Azaria, is an embarrassing racial stereotype). America's Sweethearts contains within it a documentary about the backstage shenanigans that occur on a film set. Seeing this documentary, I couldn't help but think how much more interesting and funny it would be to see a film chronicling the making of America's Sweethearts. Come to think of it, that might be a horror movie...

TV Third Viewing, 2 Roth films seen

If not for Christopher Walken, this film would be a tedious example of gag comedy. But as it stands, it is an average example of a romantic comedy; just with an ending that makes me laugh (but I am not talking about when the dog does the nasty with billy Crystal).
its full of stupid ideas on film-making as well as the story
American Sweethearts has some good actors, I won't argue with that, but it also has a terribly bad script. It was barely romantic and wasn't very funny or even very enjoyable to watch. Such good actors; Cusack, Jones, Roberts, Azaria, Tucci and Arkin ... and why would they make this film? All I can come up with is that they all decided they wanted to work together. Either that or else they thought since Billy Crystal and Peter Tolan normally write pretty funny stuff that this also would be hilarious and not so arid and trite. Anyways, unless you want to watch Cusack or Zeta Jones (I still love her) fish for a paycheck, stay away.
Full review to come.
I love this movie despite what the critics say. I find it hilarious, especially Hank Azaria. He cracks me up whenever he talks about the junk(hunk) it. (sigh)
I don't really like movies like this, but John Cusack was great! totally worth watching just to see him and Jeremy Piven team up again!
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