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America's Sweethearts

Funny that Luca's last review should mention Mr. Stanley Kubrick, The late, deceased, weird director or genius depending on which camp you're in (I, like Luca, am not entirely sure which I subscribe to!)

America's Sweetheart is, I think, Billy Crystal's first attempt at writing a screenplay (or at least the first that has come to production and be directed by him also!)

It features quite a cast including Crystal himself as a Hollywood Publicist, John Cusack and Mrs. Michael Douglas (Catherine Zeta Jones) as America's most famous and best loved On and off screen couple AND could a movie called America's Sweetheart really be complete without one of America's real sweethearts, Julia Roberts? It also features Christopher Walken brilliantly playing someone who could well be based on Kubrick, which is the name that came to mind with his first appearance in the movie. Of course, just to avoid any similarities with persons living or dead, later on in the movie (Same as in Antitrust when the Arch Computer Magnate Villain asks "Bill who?" when comparisons are made between him and one Mr. Gates) the comparison is drawn between Walken's Character and Kubrick.

I was enticed along to this movie by my two female roommates, despite some reservations about it being a "chick flick".

Basically, the premise of the story is that Cusack and Zeta Jones, once married but now estranged and at each other throats, are being brought back together for the launch of their last movie together, directed by Walken. It is the job of Crystal to make them appear, for the press and the cinema going public, as being truly back together and reconciled, as their market value is more as a combination than the sum of their separate parts, both which have gone into rapid decline since their separation.

Julie Roberts character is the "plain" (or at least formerly plain and frumpy) sister and personal assistant of a "spoilt bitch, prima donna" Zeta-Jones. Of course, being America's true sweetheart it is rather difficult to cast Roberts too convincingly for long as the frumpy ugly sister even with the benefit of rather uncomplimentary make up, and, in that context, the likely outcome of the movie is pretty obvious and charted from fairly early on.

Despite some weakness and the predictability of its outcome this turned out to be a fairly good movie with a few good laughs. There is a danger of Crystal becoming the naughties (2000's) version of Mel Brooks by his constant throwing in of subtle Jewish references and "jokes" which have no real place in the movie, but apart from that it was quite a commendable credit to Crystal even if I can't proclaim myself a fan.

For a laugh I'll give it 3 out of 5 stars.

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