BECAUSE I SAID SO directed by Michael Lehmann, written by Karen Leigh Hopkins and Jessie Nelson, with Diane Keaton and Mandy Moore. A TVA Films release. 102 minutes. Opens Friday (February 2). For venues and times, see Movies, page 85. Rating: N Rating: N
First off, a confession. I liked the Holiday. I found it clever, funny and (I know, I know) romantic. Completely implausible, of course, but what romantic comedy - from Pride And Prejudice onward - isn't on some level a fairy tale?
Well, it's time to wake up. After last week's Catch And Release and this new Diane Keaton/Mandy Moore vehicle, the rom-com is in cardiac arrest. And I say, "Do not resuscitate." Why? Because I Said So.
Those four words are uttered about a dozen times in the film. About the same number of times that we see Keaton in a new (and fabulous) outfit, or Moore mooning at the camera, trying to make us like her by the sheer enormity of her cheekbones.
Keaton plays Daphne Wilder, a successful caterer who's brought up her three girls without a dad. Maggie (Lauren Graham) and Mae (Piper Perabo), are married and so, presumably, happy; Milly (Moore), who's followed her mom's career path, is single, so Daphne goes online to find her a mate.
Will it be Bachelor number one (Tom Everett Scott), the resonsible, hunky architect from the posh family? Or will it be Bachelor number two (Gabriel Macht), the slyly handsome single dad who plays jazz and teaches kids how to play the guitar?
Filmmaker Michael Lehmann and his writers provide few surprises. In addition to the clichéd date-interview montage, we get groaners like the older-woman-seeing-porn-online scene, the cute reaction shots from the cute dog and not one but two scenes of empowered women singing to girl-group songs.
The worst moment features Keaton and Moore discussing orgasms. The most surreal comes when one of the bachelors sarcastically tells Daphne he enjoys being reduced to a "cultural cliché."
That's Carol Kane's line from Annie Hall, the film that made Keaton a star. Why haul it out here? Surely Keaton must have remembered it. Well, la-di-da. Maybe she was too busy changing in and out of her costumes to say anything intelligent.