I had plenty of warning that this was not going to be Sandra Bullock's best work. Far from it, actually. And that is the truth. Whether she deserved the Razzie for Worst Actress for the film I could debate (I have seen much worse this year!). Maybe because I was prepared for this film to be 2009's version of "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes" I did not find the film as painful as I expected it to be. Maybe my lowered expectations skewered my opinion of it.
Mary Horowitz (Sandra Bullock – The Blind Side, The Proposal) is a brilliant, but socially inept woman. She works as a crossword puzzle designer for a newspaper. Mary's whole life is her crosswords. As she is not married, extremely talkative and is still living with her parents at an age where most have moved out she is seen as a bit of an oddball.
Mr. (Howard Hesseman – from television's WKRP in Cincinnati)) and Mrs. Horowitz (Beth Grant – Crazy Heart, Extract) have not given up on their daughter and so keep trying to fix her up on blind dates. The latest in a long string is the son of a friend. Mary, no dummy, is expecting either a repressed homosexual or a complete loser. What she gets when she comes to the door on the night of their date is neither.
Steve (Bradley Cooper – The Hangover, Valentine's Day) is a cameraman for the local news station. He is neither gay nor a loser. In fact he is quite attractive. Mary is thrilled. When he gets a taste of what Mary is really like, Steve is less than thrilled.
Trying to get rid of her before they have even pulled away from in front of Mary's parents' house, Steve pretends that he has been called away on a story. To lessen the blow he says (in a blasé kind of way) that he wishes Mary could come with him.
One thing leads to another and Mary constructs a whole crossword based on Steve, is fired from her job and then sets off cross country to track down the man of her dreams. Steve won't know what hit him!
You can see what the writer (Kim Barker – License to Wed), director (Phil Traill) and star were trying to do with a film about a character like this. They wanted to show that just because someone is different does not make them a freak or someone we should just shunt to the side. Admirable goal, but the execution was not up to the task.
First of all, do not go into this thinking it is a romantic comedy because it is not. There is absolutely no romance in it. Actually, it is more of an anti-romance. It will just frustrate you if you sit there expecting it. In actuality the Sandra Bullock character is rather annoying in the beginning and Bradley Cooper's is just downright disgusting. There is no one to cheer for until Sandra's character begins to go down the path of self-discovery and wakes up a little.
It was cool to see Sandra Bullock in this different type of role. Playing a largely unlikable motormouth who wears awful clothes is pretty brave of her. The character does require her to walk on a tightrope of likability and unlikability that she falls off a time or two, but for the most part she did what she could with the awkwardly written character.
I can understand how many people would not have liked the film. It certainly was in no way "My Left Foot" or even close, but if you want to see Sandra Bullock try something a little different and are willing to make some allowances because you see the importance of the message of the film then you might actually find yourself enjoying this film.
-All About All About Steve
-Bradley Cooper and Ken Jeong's A Capella Duet
-Hollywood Dish with Mena Micheletti
-Crew Snapshots to Mary's Rap
-Fox Movie Channel Presents Life After School with Phil Traill
-Trailers for (500) Days of Summer and Adam