Dave White
Chaos Theory Review

Dave's Rating:


The thing I hate the most is on display here …

Who's in It: Ryan Reynolds, Emily Mortimer, Stuart Townsend

The Basics: Reynolds is this guy who's obsessed with order, punctuality, list-making, time management and other OCD-related efficiency issues. He gets his life turned upside-down after his wife sets the clock wrong one morning. Minor inconvenience turns into earth-shaking chaos, his personality unravels and his family threatens to fall apart. You know why? Because he's got to learn to just roll with the punches and accept that the universe is random.

What's the Deal? Were you aware that the answer to life's hiccup-y inconsistency is love? It's true. This movie just taught me that. And the answer to movies about people who dig themselves deeper and deeper into silly plot holes when simple, timely conversations would turn the project from a feature-length snooze into a short film? They haven't invented a better answer than "rewrite" or "find a more consistent comic tone."

The Thing I Hate the Most in Movies Is on Display Here: When everything comes crashing to a fun-crushing halt the moment it's time for the main character to Learn His Totally Important Lesson. It's when comedies are allowed to pretend for five minutes that it's OK if no one's laughing.

Have You Ever Noticed? How the exact sorts of behavior that society encourages in people — organization, efficiency, accomplishment and other responsible actions that also result in things like getting films in on time and under budget — are considered pathological traits? As a lifelong list-maker and time-organizer, I resent this. In real life, only Matthew McConaughey is allowed to get away with being Mr. Hang Loose all the time. And I think he's lying about it most of the time anyway.

And You Thought It Was Only Americans Who Had Trouble Doing British Accents: Every once in a while, you can hear Mortimer and Townsend sound a little like the U.K. natives they actually are. If the film had been better, I might not have noticed.


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