A Lot Like Love


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"Notice how this review isn't all that interesting or funny...It goes on and on, and at any moment there might be a big laugh.  But...maybe not."










A Lot Like Love
The Masked Reviewer

What's similar to lust, sort of in the neighborhood of caring, reminiscent  of passion, and not entirely dissimilar from that warm and squishy feeling people sometimes get?

The answer is: the latest film starring Ashton "Coochie Coochie" Kutcher and Amanda "For the Love Of" Peet.

During a failed terrorist hijacking of a nuclear weapon, Ashton Kutcher is given radioactive superpowers and he must overcome the evil kung fu fighting style of Amanda Peet to save the world from space aliens, bent on the destruction of...uh...NAH, none of that happens.  It's a romantic comedy!  The Masked Reviewer doesn't typically give a plot synopsis anyway, but it's especially easy in the case of the romantic comedy.  What's to say?  Everyone knows what will happen. 

This is a two person movie.  While there are probably other people who appear in the film, they're nothing more than props.  The focus is entirely on Ashton Kutcher (Oliver) and Amanda Peet (Emily).  Those are there character's names.  Ashton Kutcher was never in a film version of Oliver.  "Please sir, can I like...maybe get a little more?  Gosh!"  It wouldn't really work. 

In any event, the entire focus of the film is on these two characters.  This isn't a criticism per se.  It is, after all, a romantic comedy, and as such the romantic leads get all of the screen time.  Some movies try to create a story and characters that go beyond the two leads, but not  A Lot Like Love...they "keep it real."

What's to say about the movie?  Ashton Kutcher and Amanda Peet are both charming, in their own way, and it comes across well on screen.  Fans of either (or both) are likely to enjoy the performances.  At many times, it almost seems as though the director just let them have fun, and they do have a solid chemistry that will keep the viewer interested in what happens to them.

The scenarios are right out of the Romantic Comedy Handbook.  There aren't any big surprises.  It's also a little light on the comedy at times.  It's kind of strangely mushy yet simultaneously oddly detached at times.  Rather than a series of little cute jokes, the film rests squarely on the charms of the actors.  It's more like listening to a friend talk about their relationship at a dinner party.  You like them, and you're interested, but it's not a story that's so great you'd want to read a book about it (or, for that matter, see a movie about it).  But, because you like the person telling you the story, it does keep your interest. 

Notice how this review isn't all that interesting or funny.  You might be reading because you like the Masked Reviewer for his other reviews.  This is kind of like what watching A Lot Like Love is...like.  A lot.  It goes on and on, and at any moment there might be a big laugh.  But...maybe not.

There are a few big laughs which are the result of a lack of comedy in the rest of the film.  When they do something genuinely funny, it seems all the more hilarious.  The five or six big laughs are enjoyable, but A Lot Like Love would have been helped a lot by better writing.

The story takes place over several years.  One of the weaknesses in the writing is that the characters make sudden and abrupt changes, making it seem like each time period is about a different person.  Sure, people can change over the span of seven years, but since this is a movie about only two people, it'd be nice to see a little bit more of why they underwent these changes in view and behavior.

The film was directed by Nigel Cole.  If he isn't British, he sure as heck should be.  He previously directed Calendar Girls.  The movie has the somewhat slower pacing of a British romantic comedy, but it isn't as quirky. 

A Lot Like Love has a few good laughs, although they're too few and far between.  Fans of either Amanda Peet or Ashton Kutcher will find that their on-screen charms and good chemistry make the otherwise by-the-book flat romantic comedy entirely bearable.  Unfortunately, the film is too long (at one hour and fifty minutes); the cuteness wears off after about an hour.  It's also a weird choice for a date movie, as the relationship that's portrayed suffers from a bit of awkwardness (then again, that's what causes the dramatic tension, as screenwriters call it).  It does bring in some slightly more interesting ideas that some viewers will be able to relate to, but there's too little of the good stuff and too much of the not-quite-good-enough stuff. 

The charms of the actors go a long way toward making this movie good, but the excessive length and lack of funny writing make this just average.


Expectation from the Title: A movie about a glove, which, other than that pesky g at the beginning of its name, is very similar to the popular emotion. 

Mother's Rule (Always Say Something Good About Everything):  Ashton Kutcher and Amanda Peet make a darling couple.  They both seem like people you would want to invite over for dinner.

The Pros: Good chemistry, charming actors.  Five or six good laughs.

The Cons: Not enough humor.  Too long; tends to drag a bit.  Too formulaic and predictable.

Amanda Pete, Aston Kutcher, Ashton Kutscher, Ashton Cutcher, Ashton Koutcher

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