Combustible Celluloid
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With: Diane Keaton, Mandy Moore, Gabriel Macht, Tom Everett Scott, Lauren Graham, Piper Perabo, Stephen Collins, Ty Panitz, Matt Champagne, Colin Ferguson, Tony Hale
Written by: Karen Leigh Hopkins, Jessie Nelson
Directed by: Michael Lehmann
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sexual content including dialogue, some mature thematic material and partial nudity
Running Time: 102
Date: 02/02/2007

Because I Said So (2007)

1/2 Star (out of 4)

Hover Girl

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Director Michael Lehmann, whose oddball comedies (Heathers, 40 Days and 40 Nights) sometimes belie a kind of harebrained genius, suffers a complete misfire with this obnoxious, headache-inducing horror show. An overbearing mom, Daphne (Diane Keaton), tries to set up her youngest daughter, Milly (Mandy Moore), with a suitable man. But Milly winds up with two at the same time, a rich architect (Tom Everett Scott, from The Love Letter) and a sensitive musician (Gabriel Macht, from A Love Song for Bobby Long). Apparently juggling two boyfriends has no repercussions at all, except for Daphne's approval of one boy over the other. Daphne and Milly spend large chunks of the movie chattering hysterically at one another, shrieking at such a high pitch that the movie seems to be spinning. Even when Daphne (blessedly) loses her voice in one sequence, she scribbles furiously in a notepad while Milly continues to babble. For some reason, despite this overwhelming atmosphere, Milly's older sisters (Lauren Graham and Piper Perabo) have managed to happily marry. Graham and Perabo's natural, graceful screen charm clashes with Keaton and Moore's forced performances, but they're not on screen nearly long enough to give us a break from the incessant nattering. The editing is so graceless that it deadens the pace, cultural stereotypes are presented as "jokes" and we're even forced to submit to Moore's singing. But a "comic" dog that reacts to everything Daphne does is the clearest indication as to how far off track this movie really is.

(Note: this week's other major movie, Oxide Pang Chun's The Messengers, is not screening for the press, but it has to be better than this.) Because I Said So

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