She said: ‘Love’ isn’t so seductive
The tagline of “A Lot Like Love” reads: “There’s nothing better than a great romance … to ruin a perfectly good friendship.”And there’s nothing like an average script to ruin a perfectly good concept. I mean, who hasn’t considered whether a romance would ruin a friendship?
The concept even lured a friend of Dan and mine to see the movie – a guy, nonetheless. But he walked out sorely disappointed.”A Lot Like Love” follows a seven-year on-and-off relationship between Emily (Amanda Peet) and Oliver (Ashton Kutcher). It starts with a membership to the Mile High Club – apparently sidestepping the renowned question “When Harry Met Sally” posed: Can men and women be friends without the sex thing getting in the way?Once they get sex out of the way, they part – only to begin a friendship after immediately running into each other in a city of more than 8 million people. And the serendipity isn’t the only thing that seems forced. Throughout the years, they meet up after various breakups and breakthroughs, only to find themselves alone again, after all.
The film could have been a crafty art house piece (such as “Lost in Translation”), but it lacks the depth of a character study. It doesn’t bother developing a “perfectly good friendship” in which to explore the ins and outs of romance’s effect on friendship.Instead, it relies on cute dialogue and antics. As a cute romance, it works. Kutcher’s pretty cute regardless of his role (yes, I’m aware I’ve used “cute” three – no four – times in this paragraph, but that’s the level of profundity we’re talkin’), but he lacks his usual vibrant chemistry. It’s as if he’s holding back his own personality in order to fill his character, only his character doesn’t have enough personality to fill, which leaves him flat and befuddled.
Peet’s character, Amanda, flits about, transforming from a heavy-drinking and smoking Goth to an actress to a photographer to a sophisticate with no other motivation than the screen flashing the words “two years later” or “three years later.”The only drama, or plot impetus, in the movie involves the elements manufactured by Amanda and Oliver. But, it’s just them and their dynamics. While it’s entertaining and worth some chuckles and smiles, it’s not enough to scratch the surface of the weighty question: Does romance ruin a friendship?
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