Cusack and Zeta-Jones, a headline Hollywood ex-couple, feign renewed romance for the benefit of the watching media, and thus their new movie; Roberts is Zeta-Jones' sensible sister and long-suffering assistant, and Crystal the valiant studio publicist minding the scam. Crystal co-wrote and co-produced, and it's directed by Roth, who spent the '90s running first Fox and then Disney. But the film dishes little dirt. With Crystal's hallmark blend of lightly barbed sitcom and soft-centred storytelling, the film would rather please, yet it's an ugly piece of cinema. Roth uses the 'Scope frame like a plank of wood, battering the audience with clunky two-shots, unsubtle flashbacks and fantasy sequences, while James Newton Howard's score is so much soap. Roberts makes a convincing ugly duckling, Crystal is Crystal, and Cusack is on auto-pilot, but Zeta-Jones' prima donna comes with an unavoidable air of self-congratulation, and Christopher Walken's intervention as the unhinged, unaccountable auteur is preposterous.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Billy Crystal, Peter Tolan|