BECAUSE I SAID SO
* (out of 5)
February 2, 2007
Diane Keaton as DAPHNE
Mandy Moore as MILLY
Gabriel Macht as JOHNNY
Tom Everett Scott as JASON
Lauren Graham as MAGGIE
Piper Perabo as MAE
Stephen Collins as JOE
Directed by: Michael Lehmann
BY KEVIN CARR
Listen to Kevin’s radio review…
If there was ever a movie that had “It seemed like a good idea at the time” written all over it, it is “Because I Said So.” This mish-mash of a script wrapped around a romantic comedy core fizzles and flops throughout its scenes before completely unraveling into a mess of cliches and stupidity.
Yes, it has Oscar winner Diane Keaton in it, but she is woefully misdirected. Instead of letting her shine with her dramatic acting chops, she’s left to improvise comedy in front of the camera – a technique that works with Robin Williams and Jim Carrey, but not with Keaton.
Using plot points I’ve seen in a dozen other romantic comedies over the years, “Because I Said So” stabs in the dark. Making out-of-place jokes about everything from AdultFriendFinder to the female orgasm, this film is like Kevin Federline at the guidance counselor’s office – it just has no direction.
“Because I Said So” tells the story of a mother named Daphne (Diane Keaton) of three daughters. While two of the daughters are going on with their lives, Milly the youngest (Mandy Moore) is having trouble finding a man. Daphne, being the constant meddler, puts an ad on the internet to find her daughter a man. Soon, Milly is struggling with two boyfriends, trying to find a love life for herself.
There are decent moments in this movie, but they are almost always due to supporting characters. If only the movie was about Lauren Graham and Tony Hale, who have a bizarrely out-of-place but funny relationship as therapist and patient.
Tom Everett Scott plays the most bland “other man” I’ve ever seen on film. He makes the alternative girlfriend or boyfriend in a Norah Ephron movie look like Darth Vader. Scott’s character is the man the Daphne actually chooses for her daughter, but she meddles so much that Milly isn’t really able to make a decent decision for herself.
However, instead of being a cad or a jerk, he’s just boring. He’s a near miss when it comes to boyfriends, which is probably much closer to the truth of life but woefully dull in a movie script.
In this post-“Sex in the City” world, the relationship struggles of the female are disastrously out of place in this movie. In the film, Milly ends up sparking a relationship with both guys, to the point they are both talking about marriage and kids. However, even though she’s sleeping with both, she hasn’t told them about each other.
Now I’m no Puritan, but that seems to be a bit slutty, doesn’t it? I don’t have a problem with a woman of today having more than one sexual partner, but I would imagine that when marriage and kids are on the table for discussion, it might be best to enter some sort of monogamy. After all, turn the tables and make the man the one sleeping with two women while talking marriage… well, you have a better villain than Tom Everett Scott’s character ever was.
“Because I Said So” is directed by Michael Lehmann, and when I saw that, I have to admit I was interested in seeing it. Lehmann directed the greatest teen movie of all times – “Heathers” in 1989. And as much as I love “Heathers,” I must have blocked out the fact that he was also responsible for films like “Hudson Hawk,” “My Giant” and “Meet the Applegates.”
If asked for my personal recommendation, I would say not to see this movie? And why do I say that? Well, aside from the numerous preceding paragraphs, the only answer is, “Because I said so!”