Dave's Rating:


… not as funny as it thinks it is.

Who's in It: Helen Hunt, Colin Firth, Bette Midler, Matthew Broderick, Lynn Cohen, Ben Shenkman

The Basics: Midlife-confusions sufferer Hunt wants a baby (a "real" one, not an adopted one like she was — oh, the pain), has a childish husband (Broderick) instead. He dumps her, she falls for Firth and, meanwhile, a woman who may or may not be a pathological liar finds her and reveals that she is Helen's birth mother. Of course, it's Midler, which would make most clear-headed people run in the other direction, but our heroine makes the best of it.

What's the Deal? I'd say that this is the kind of movie I'd take my 65-year-old mom to see, but I don't think I would. For starters, it's not as funny as it thinks it is. But then again, neither is Hunt, who directed it. And I found it really hard to root for a person that you're clearly supposed to sympathize with when one of the opening scenes shows her berating her dying mother for adopting her. Yes, really. Whining that her brother (Mom's bio-kid) got more "loving looks." When they invent a technology that will allow you to reach into a movie screen and choke a character, my life will be so much more awesome.

Someday, Maybe Midler Will Give It a Rest: But that day is not today. She's her usual self. Abrasive, obnoxious, desperate for your love, self-consciously wacky. In other words, you expect her to attach a neon-lit bra to herself and yell, "Look at these baZOOMS!" And then sing "You Gotta Have Friends."

And Another Thing: Did I get this right? Does this movie actually position Broderick as some kind of competition for Firth? Because, in case Hunt didn't know this, that guy was Mr. Darcy and set millions of Jane Austen fan hearts atwitter a while back. He's, like, the middle-aged NPR heartthrob of this generation.

If This Were on TV Where It Belongs: It'd be an hour-long detective show where Hunt and Midler were a mismatched brassy-mom-and-peevish-daughter sleuthing team who solved mysteries in spite of themselves.


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