Steve Carell, Juliette Binoche, Dane Cook, Emily Blunt
Carell plays Dan, a single dad bringing up three girls, who writes an advice column on relationships in the newspaper. It’s a film about family more so than ‘boy meets girl’. However boy does meet girl, and it happens that the girl Dan meets is his brother’s new girlfriend. Dan’s whole extended family gets together for the holidays at the parents’ house (mum is played by Dianne Wiest) where lots of relationship issues are played out.
A support role is given to Emily Blunt – this is quite early in her career, and she is terrific even then. Everyone in the family totally loves Marie (played by Binoche), and Dan seems to be the underdog. Poor old Dan. I really think he cops a lot of flack, especially from his teenage daughters. But he survives, and there are smooches all round at the end of the film. This is a lovely movie, where Carell is not so much funny/ridiculous but funny/likable.
Dustin is in love with Alexis (Hudson), but she doesn’t feel the same way about him. So Dustin hires the services of his best mate, Tank (Cook). Tank moonlights as a bad date guy. Men hire him to take out the women they like, he behaves like a total asshole, and then they look good in comparison.
But Tank meets his match when he takes out Alexis, who is using him to have a good time herself. She may be the one to turn him around. But it may be too late, as his relationship with Alexis has broken up his friendship with Dustin.
It seems as though Dane Cook is the rom com male of 2008 – the bad boy who makes good. But I’m not that keen on him, and am rather glad that he disappears from our screens. Kate Hudson still remains one of the rom com greats, and does her best with this flick. It’s a tad too crude for my liking, and I didn’t enjoy it nearly as much as other 2008 flicks I’ve seen. But if you love Hudson, it’s worth a watch.
Charlie, or Chuck, is a successful, good looking dentist who has no trouble with ‘the ladies’. But he develops a reputation as a ‘lucky charm’ for women – after they sleep with him once, they find their true love and get married. So his services become very much in demand.
Chuck suspects it’s the fault of a hex that a jilted girl put on him when they were ten. However, he uses this ‘gift’ to his advantage and has as much meaningless sex as possible. That is, until he meets Cam and doesn’t want her to leave him. He needs to remove the hex – but maybe it’s not the fault of the hex that women aren’t taking him seriously, maybe it’s his attitude towards them.
This was the first rom com for Cook, we see him later in films like Dan in Real Life, and with Kate Hudson in My Best Friend’s Girl. The premise for this film was sound, and the acting sufficient, but I didn’t like it much. I think, in the end, it was just too damn crude. Only for a mature audience with an immature taste in humour.