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A LOT LIKE LOVE (PG-13) (2005)

Touchstone Pictures

Official Site

Director: Nigel Cole

Producers: Armyan Bernstein, Kevin J. Messick

Written by: Colin Patrick Lynch

Cast: Ashton Kutcher, Amanda Peet, Kal Penn, Ali Larter, Jeremy Sisto, Gabriel Mann

Rating:


Who would have thought that Ashton Kutcher could appear in two cinematic duds in less than a month? Well, I didn’t doubt Kelso’s ability in this arena. Now he’s got to top it and have three duds released in one month.

Ashton Kutcher is, without hyperbole, one of the worst comedic performers on the planet. His timing is totally off, his pacing is terrible, and he has no range beyond his dumbfounded look. A Lot Like Love portrays Kutcher’s ridiculously absent chemistry with co-star Amanda Peet, resulting in one of the worst rom-coms in the history of cinema. I’m serious folks, and I have cable.

After the picture, I talked with screening rep, and explained how I’m so sick of how all the flicks that run the exact same way. There was nothing different or new about it. The rep asked something like, “Well why didn’t you expect it to be the same?” And then I started thinking, “You know, he’s got a point.” Two multiplied by two equals four, right? But after seeing 2 x 2 = 4 a bazillion times, it’d be nice if one movie could use different factors to reach the same product. It’s like what Rodney Kerington says, “I can only eat so many green M&Ms man. Sometimes I just want to go, ‘FUCK, I WANT A RED ONE!’” Well, red M&M A Lot Like Love is certainly not—just the same boring green.

We first meet our flick’s designated young, star-crossed lovers-to-be outside LAX. Emily (Peet) makes out with and then promptly dumps her rocker boyfriend, and Oliver (Kutcher) enters the scene. Emily takes a fancy to him at the gate, then soon inducts him into the mile-high club during their flight. After a round of spontaneous sexual intercourse, Emily and Oliver spend some time together in NYC and become sort of acquaintances who pop-up and meet every couple of years for one stupid reason or another. He gets dumped, she gets dumped, fired, whatever, I wasn’t paid to write this piece of crap. So their insignificant friendship turns into a sexual affair into… well look at the title readers, whatcha think it means?

For me, the two most important aspects in a film are character and plot. Characters are most important, because if the characters are convincing and sell the material, the story is easier to buy into. If the characters suck, I’m not going to give a shit about the story no matter how interesting the concept. People will say, “Oh the plot and characters sucked, but the action was great” (i.e., Star Wars: Episode 2—Attack Of The Clones description to a T for many). Well if the characters suck, I sure am not going to care whether they live or die in some suspenseful action sequence. OK—what I’m trying to get at it is the characters in A Lot Like Love suck. There’s no chemistry between Oliver and Emily, no spark, nothing.

The supreme lack of interesting characters certainly doesn’t serve a narrative as hacked together as this film. These people only meet each other once every three years and fall in love. Otherwise, they never keep in contact—never send an e-mail, give a regular phone call, go on a weekend road trip. Did I forget to mention they both live in the same state?

There are some other familiar faces here: Penn as Oliver’s diaper-selling buddy, Mann as Emily’s ex, and Larter as her friend. Not that they offend. Mann I think is a very talented, subtle actor. But their parts are too brief and insignificant, and whatever talent or potential they have is ultimately wasted.

Apparently Kelso takes the bashing from reviews kind of personally. Well guess what, Kelso? Your movies suck, your performances suck, and you are a disgrace to the craft and the art of performing in the worst way. I spit on “That 70’s Show,” “Punk’d,” and your car, wherever the hell it is. But you know what? At the end of the day, you are making the big bucks, you are starring in the #1 movies every weekend, and you are the one going to bed with Demi Moore. So you get you the jet flyin’, limosine ridin’, kiss stealin’ Rat Pack v.2.0 lifestyle, and I get to rip your movies apart. In “Fullmetal Alchemist” they call it equivalent exchange. So huzzah, and if it’s at all possible… please for the love of the Deity, stop making movies.

—Jeffrey “The Vile One” Harris

hybridCinema Ratings Guide:

Take a pal and pay full price for both tickets.

Itís worth a full-price ticket.

Itís worth a matinee ticket.

Wait for video rental.

Check out the video from the library, if you must.

While we would never encourage anyone to destroy a video...


Mike Doughty



none now
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