Wednesday, 1 March 2017

America's Sweethearts (2001)

Gwen Harrison (Catherine Zeta-Jones) and Eddie Thomas (John Cusack) were Hollywood's number one power couple; married stars who performed in a succession of eight monster smash hit films together.  Their ninth collaboration, directed by a renowned auteur, is due for its first press screening in just a few days.

Alas, during the filming of that ninth collaboration, their marriage fell apart,  Gwen took up with what the script tells us is a "handsome young Spaniard", though he's played by Hank Azaria, who frankly doesn't seem all that studly to me, and who in real life is older than either of the two leads.  Eddie had an emotional breakdown and has spent pretty much the entire time since at a mountain retreat trying to get over things.

Which would be bad enough, but there's also the minor problem that the renowned auteur hasn't delivered the film.  He promises it will be there for the press premiere, but point blank refuses to share what he's done until then.  Which .. well, it's not very plausible that a studio would allow this, to say the least, but sure for the purposes of the film let's accept it.

Anyway, it's up to publicist Lee (Billy Crystal, who also co-wrote) to not only get the two sparring spouses to both turn up for the press junket, but then to milk their feud for whatever PR advantage he can find.

So we've got three of the four major players of the film in place.  The last is Gwen's sister Kiki (Julia Roberts), who just might have a smidgen of chemistry with old Eddie herself.  All these people, plus dozens of reporters, are now all in one place, waiting for the film to finally show up.  No doubt everything is going to go totally smoothly, right?

Well of course it isn't.  That's kind of the point of this kind of film.

America's Sweethearts has a great cast, and some funny moments, though the rather far-fetched premise gets stretched to even more ridiculous lengths when the auteur finally does show up.  If you're looking for a rom-com that's not so treacly as the average example of the genre, though, this might be just the movie you want.

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