Little Black Book (12A)
Time Out saysThis latest Brittany Murphy comedy attempts to shake up the rom-com formula with mixed results. When TV junior Stacy (Murphy) discovers that her absent boyfriend Derek (Ron Livingston) keeps a picture of an ex on his Palm Pilot, she interviews his significant exes under a pseudonym, pretending it’s research for the chat show on which she works. The idea is to gain a greater understanding of Derek, but Stacy learns a lot more than she bargains for about men, relationships and working ethics in the television game. With Holly Hunter as an ambitious colleague and Kathy Bates as a self-important show host, this flirts with sharp satire about broadcasting but too often diverts to failed farce as Stacy fumbles around her boyfriend’s apartment and life. This inhabits a strange middle ground between cynical comedy and sappy chick flick, and while its preference for realism over romance may be laudable, it’s unlikely to satisfy fans of either genre.