Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Speechless (1994)

There are times when a great cast can take mediocre-at-best material and through sheer charisma turn it into a genuine pleasure to watch.

That this film is not one of those times is in no way a reflection on the actors involved.  They are uniformly excellent.  Leads Geena Davis and Michael Keaton display a fine camaraderie, and they are ably supported by the rest of the cast.  Where they don't get any support is from the script.  This looks to be writer Robert King's only romantic comedy (his career before this was pretty much entirely direct-to-video action schlock, and he's more recently known for creating TV's The Good Wife), and based on his efforts here, it's probably for the best he didn't write a second one.  There's no verve or spark here: just lukewarm leftovers recycled from a thousand previous romcoms.

Insomniacs Kevin and Julia meet over a box of sleeping tablets and are soon making out in his car.  In an example of the oh-so-sidesplitting antics King has to offer, this causes the vehicle's windscreen wipers and lights to switch on and off.  High-larious, no?

Well, no ... though as I said, Davis and Keaton do their best with the shamefully thin and hackneyed material they've been given.

Of course the course of true love can never run smooth in a romantic comedy, and it turns out that the erstwhile lovers are speech-writers for two opposing candidates in a senatorial race.  Naturally their relationship comes to a screeching halt at this revelation, though equally naturally they continue to be drawn to each other despite themselves.

I freely admit that romantic comedies are not my thing, but I suspect that even if they are, you'll find this a fairly humdrum example of the form.

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