Despite all the talent in the film (Rudd, Witherspoon and Wilson) it was largely a disappointment. At the box office and with critics. The script/story does not really go anywhere. It is not funny. Not romantic. Or filled with surprises. Everything goes as you would expect.
Everyone seems to have had what they care about most taken from them. Lisa (Reese Witherspoon – Legally Blonde, Walk the Line) is a star softball player, but is having to deal with just being cut from the U.S. national team. Even more painful is the reason she has been cut. It is because of her age as she will soon be 31 years old. George (Paul Rudd – Dinner for Schmucks, I Love You, Man), the scholarly type, has just been indicted while working at his father’s company and his girlfriend has just broken up with him. His father (Jack Nicholson – Prizzi’s Honor, The Witches of Eastwick) has set him up. George is actually a nice, honest guy. The two, Lisa and George, meet through mutual friends. Despite their messy situations the two embark on a kind-of relationship.
At the same time, Lisa is trying to decide if Matty (Owen Wilson – Wedding Crashers, Cars) is the right guy for her. He is a $14 million dollar a year professional baseball player, a life-long bachelor, who is not the sharpest knife in the drawer. With the two men, Lisa has to wonder “how do you know”. How do you choose the right person?
For a comedy (it was supposed to be a comedy, right?) I found it slow. No pace, no laughs. So slow that it really dragged and felt long. Surprising considering that James L. Brooks (Terms of Endearment, As Good As it Gets) is a veteran comedy director and a good one usually.
It is double trouble for Brooks as he also wrote the screenplay and that is ultimately what is wrong with the film. That is why the talent can do nothing with their roles as they are not given much to work with.
There is also very little chemistry between Reese Witherspoon and the men. So that is pretty much death for a romantic comedy.
-A Conversation with James L. Brooks and Hans Zimmer
-Interactive Script Gallery