Saturday, December 14, 2013

I’m With Lucy (2002)

I’m With Lucy stars Monica Potter, Gael Garcia Bernal, David Boreanaz, John Hannah, Anthony LaPaglia and Henry Thomas. So with a cast like that, I had hopes that it would be a good film.

It is so sad to see such a talented cast deliver such awful dialogue. Lucy (Monica Potter) is standing outside Gabriel’s door, fixing her makeup. From the other side, Gabriel (Gael Garcia Bernal) says, “Your makeup looks fine,” and then opens the door. Lucy is upset, accusing Gabriel of spying on her. She says, “What if I spied on you when you were going to the bathroom?” That makes no sense. If someone is at your door, it’s natural to look through the peep hole to see who it is, as Gabriel did. Plus, this is his place, not hers, so how can he be spying on her? Terrible. But what’s worse is Gabriel’s response: “You would be rewarded. I look good when I pee.” Yes, this movie forces Gael Garcia Bernal to say, “I look good when I pee.”

That is only seven minutes into the film. But the movie had gone wrong approximately six and a half minutes earlier, when Monica Potter delivers an incredibly stupid speech to a girl at a makeup counter about how her boyfriend is perfect but that she has problems. “He has no flaws. Me, I have tons of flaws. I have mood swings, allergies, low self-esteem, I’m quite compulsive. Most of the guys I ever dated thought I was a weirdo.” It’s so contrived, so completely unbelievable, and not at all funny. She ends her stupid speech by saying, “I just know that we’re going to be in love forever.” Predictably, in the next scene Lucy’s boyfriend, Peter (Craig Bierko), breaks up with her. In a crowded elevator. Come on. He says: “Sexually, I’m unsatisfied. It’s not that I find you undesirable. It’s just your technique is pedestrian.” And he goes on from there, causing one of the other people on the elevator to comment, “Whoa.” Just completely fucking awful. And this is the opening of the film.

Anyway, Lucy then goes on a series of blind dates over the course of the next year, and we see bits of each one. And all of this is in flashbacks. In the present, Monica and her sister are setting up their friend Melissa on a blind date. And this blind date happens to be at Monica’s wedding. That’s fucking ridiculous. But they’re still talking about Lucy’s five dates, and her sister says, “Melissa, in one hour, Lucy is marrying one of those dates.” How’s that for an awkward and contrived line? But that line is supposed to grab our interest. We’re supposed to be curious as to which of these five men she’s going to marry.

The problem with that is that everyone in the movie, with the exception of John Hannah’s character (John Hannah somehow always manages to come off all right), is immediately despicable. This is a group of people that you want to put into a large blender and then dump the resulting mess into the New York sewer. I don’t care who Lucy marries, because in her first line of dialogue she comes across as an insane, self-involved monster. So what do I care who she ends up with, as long as it isn’t John Hannah, as he deserves better.

I’m a big fan of John Hannah’s work, particularly in Four Weddings And A Funeral and Sliding Doors. Anyway, back to their date, he is being pleasant, expressing an interest in Lucy’s jazz records. She, in turn, is a drunk bitch to him, saying, “I notice a small mole with two black hairs sticking out of it on the back of your neck.” She’s lying on her couch, not being much of a host, and so he glances at her bookshelves (something I myself always do), and she angrily asks, “Why in the hell are you looking at my books?

Anthony LaPaglia plays Bobby, an ex-baseball player who played for the Mets, but was injured in September of 1986 and so didn’t play in the World Series. He has to deliver this line: “Can you imagine what it’s like to miss a World Series because you hurt your groin?” Again, awful dialogue. Just awful.

Then poor Lucy has to prove to Barry (Henry Thomas) that she’s bonkers by ranting to a store clerk about nasal decongestants. This movie is just relentless in making its actors deliver terrible dialogue. It honestly feels mean. Like deliberately mean to the actors.

Forcing yet two more actors to deliver shitty dialogue, the movie includes Harold Ramis and Julie Christie as Lucy’s parents, who meet Lucy while she’s on one of her dates and then invite them back to their place for dinner. While all four then watch home movies of Lucy as a child, Julie Christie says, “Honey, wasn’t that the day you got your first menstrual cramp?” Really? Why would Julie Christie agree to do that? What dirt did the director have on her?

The film is meanest to Monica Potter, who has to act drunk on her date with Doug (John Hannah). Why are they even continuing their date anyway? Why didn’t Doug politely make an excuse and leave? Well, John Hannah has to say, “Let’s drink to the happiness that awaits us and embrace the great cosmic process that placed us here together tonight.” What he should say is, “Sober up, you heartless tart.”

Gabriel says, “I can sense your energy around the room.” Lucy responds, “You’re a much more advanced creature than I am.” Someone wrote that. Someone named Eric Pomerance. And then the director, Jon Sherman, forced these two talented actors to say these lines. Perhaps at gunpoint?

Here are a few more lines from this piece of shit:
Bobby: “I have a humongous sex life. Humongous.”
Lucy (to Gabriel): “I can sense the energy from your ear lobe.”
Barry: “Greatness is floating around me like a big blimp.”

Okay, I’ve got it. This film is the result of some bet. Director Jon Sherman boasted to writer Eric Pomerance that he could get actors to say absolutely anything. Eric didn’t believe him, so Jon said, “Eric, write me the worst fucking script ever, and I bet I can get people like Julie Christie, John Hannah, Harold Ramis, Gael Garcia Bernal and Monica Potter to do it.” Eric was certainly up to the challenge and handed Jon one of the worst scripts in film history, thinking Jon wouldn’t even be able to get Carrot Top and Kathy Griffin to touch it. But somehow, possibly through blackmail, Jon was able to put together his dream cast.

Now there are a couple of slightly amusing moments, like when Doug tells Lucy that she could slip into a coma, and when Barry remarks (upon seeing a poster in Lucy’s childhood room): “Hey, George Michael. You guys were really in love.” But that’s it.

I thought the movie would be over at the end of the five first dates, but no. We see her on further dates with two of the guys. What happened to the others? They managed to escape somehow. Well, one of them (Bobby, the baseball player) ends up as Melissa’s blind date at Lucy’s wedding. But John Hannah and Gael Garcia Bernal apparently had had enough, and took off. Good for them. The others didn’t get off quite so easily. Poor David Boreanaz is directed to write “I like U” in the sand with his finger. Geez. He’s not twelve years old.

At one point in the film it says, “Six weeks later” on screen, which prompted me to wonder, “Six weeks later than what?” The film has been bouncing around to different times from the start. So is it six weeks later than the most recent point, meaning she’s been married for six weeks? Nope.

Near the end, as apparently the film hasn’t done enough damage, we have to suffer through a karaoke scene. I detest karaoke. I loathe it. And that leads to the wedding scene. But again, who cares? And even when the movie is over, it continues to suck by attacking us with a shitty pop song during the closing credits.

This is the kind of movie I wish I could cause physical harm to. I want to hurt this movie. I want to punch this movie repeatedly in the face.

No comments:

Post a Comment