Welcome to the future, because What Happens in Vegas should have been named What Happens when Skynet Writes a Rom Com Script. Thank you. It is as generic a Rom Com as you’ll find anywhere, so rife with cliche that it made me wonder whether it was the film that launched a thousand listicles about generic Rom Coms. Just to recount a few of the many tropes. Diaz has the visually distinct job of working the floor of the Stock Exchange; both Diaz and Kutcher have hilarious best friends (and Zach Galifianakis is added later just for funsies); the very unlikely meet cute happens when Diaz and Kutcher are mistakenly booked into the same room at Vegas; we can’t just have Diaz and Kutcher drunkenly marry each other, they have to also win a big Vegas jackpot, go to court to split the winnings, and get sentenced to “try to make their marriage work” at therapy; they hate each other; or do they?; they don’t, in fact they love each other. The end. I think the only thing it really lacked was Diaz and Kutcher finding out that their respective best friends who hate each other in fact love each other and have been sleeping together. Or wait… did that happen? I can’t remember because all the cliches are mixing around in my head.
After that long paragraph you probably think I hated this film. Not true. I thought the film was quite dumb, but there is also a reason why all this stuff has worked over and over again for decades. It is enjoyable to watch two charming people fall in love. Also a bit refreshing that they are never actively bad people. In fact they are generally pleasant people and you really do start rooting for them to be with each other. Why not? They are hot and pleasant. Be hot and pleasant together.
I’m gonna do a quick game I just made up called What Would I Change. So what would I change? Fine, you don’t want Diaz and Kutcher’s best friends to fall in love? I get it, they are more fun as frenemies and in a weird way it would be like cousins kissing. Just too similar. But what about expanding Galifianakis’ role? It already seemed like they originally got him for a scene but then liked him so much they had him show up a couple more times. So let’s just make him Kutcher’s roommate. Plays nicely as a way for Kutcher to originally try to sabotage the marriage. He refuses to kick out his deadbeat roommate even after Diaz moves in. What does Diaz do in response? She gets a third roommate and has her move into Kutcher’s woodworking studio. Uh oh! But egad, the weirdo she gets to sabotage the marriage falls for Galifianakis and soon they sit down Diaz and Kutcher to tell them they have to move out because they need their own space for their love to grow. Awwwww.
All in all not a bad film. Just a dumb one. Patrick?
‘Ello everyone! What Happens in Vegas? More like That Film was a D+! Remember back, young children, to an age where romantic comedies were released to theaters with the thinnest of tissue thin plots. Let’s go!
Wait … is this movie good? Why is it that this cycle in particular seems to be giving us oh so many at-least-okay films? I have a theory (I know you want to hear it). The cycle is very very specific. We are requiring a film to star a notable rapper and we aren’t allowing ourselves to double up. And when you get that specific (our old M.O. really) you end up having to choose a lot of borderline films. Et voila! Les films, ils sont bons!
In reality the film has a stacked supporting cast (Zach Galifianakis, Lake Bell, and Rob Corrdry) who are all laugh-out-loud funny at different moments. And Diaz, as usual, is a charmer. I don’t think Kutcher’s man-child schtick works here, but I get what he’s going for and the concluding scene is genuinely emotional.
Is it the funniest film I’ve ever seen? No. But I laughed a few times. That is above average for BMT. One laugh is like … an okay BMT film. More than one is a genuine anomaly.
Oh, and the films premise. Dare I say that it works? A light coincidence in our leads being booked into the same room in Vegas. And just merely-odd that the wacky Dennis Miller decides that these two people just must stay married for six months.
Enough about what worked in this film. Let’s leave it on a sour note. The entire middle of this film is a pretty unnecessary sequence of the two leads very half-heartedly trying to get the other to botch the marriage. It never even gets close to working. They should have definitely thought of a better way to punch that up.
Hey an A+ Product Placement (What?) for Vegas! It really is a giant advertisement for it at one point. And hey, an A+ Setting (Where?) for Vegas! Although the film mostly takes place in NYC. Ooooooh, and a great MacGuffin (Why?) for the $3 million waiting for those who can merely live in holy matrimony for six months. Closest to Good easily, the film is kind of funny, especially Corrdry.
One again, check out my sequel idea (What Happens in Vegas 2: Baby Boom) in the Quiz. Cheerios,
Oh man, guess what? I go suuuuuuuper drunk in Vegas and … what? No I’m already married. I was just going to say I don’t remember a thing! Do you remember what happened in What Happens in Vegas?
Pop Quiz Hot Shot!
1) The heroes of our story just have a no good terrible week prior to heading off to Sin City. What happens to both of them that makes them want to get away?
2) In Vegas how do Diaz and Kutcher meet that results in them having a craaaaaazy time in Vegas?
3) How much money do the two (now married) lovebirds win at the slots in Vegas which causes a bit of an issue with them getting an annulment back in NYC?
4) Over the next six months they both try and make each other’s lives hell. Specifically though they try and get the other to cheat on them since that is easiest. What things do each of them do to achieve this goal?
5) How many lighthouses are there 30 miles east of the city according to Ashton Kutcher? Which one was Cameron Diaz waiting at?
Bonus Question: After a nice bloopie reel the movie reopens on Vegas to a flashback to the night Diaz and Kutcher got married. What else happened that night?
“Ninubus! Not I, not you, but us. The living vampiiiire,” croons little Mikey Myers. Jamie and Patrick are stunned. Here they are with years of professional dance experience under their belts and yet they can only attempt to follow Mikey sinuous dance moves that have left the arena in an exultant trance. Is this why he was such a big fan of the band? He too dreamed of fame on the big stage? They all pile down the stairs to the green room after the show, sweat coursing rivulets down their glistening chests. “My god, Mikey!” screams teen heartthrob Jamie. Tears are brimming in his bloodshot eyes and teen heartthrob Patrick is already weeping. “It was beautiful,” he mutters, “I now understand art. You are art.” Ty and Parsons are already deep into writing the next album in the corner, having been inspired by Mikey’s majestic tunes. “Gee,” Mikey says embarrassed, “I was just being me. You really think I can join?” Teen heartthrob Jamie and Patrick chuckle and shake their heads. “No, we’re done with this life. We’re thinking more of a manager role in the next iteration of the band. We have an idea for a website and we need just a little more capital to get it off the ground.” They wink at each other and Jamie and Patrick know exactly what that website might be. Ty and Parsons come over and each put an arm around Mikey’s shoulder. “We’re also thinking of a name change. What do you think about Mikey Mike and the Mikey Mikes?” Mikey blushes again, “Geeee.” Looks like Jamie and Patrick’s work here is done, but before they go teen heartthrob Jamie and Patrick ask them if they might want to stay on. At least for the next stop on the tour. That’s right! We’re watching What Happens in Vegas. It’s a classic tale of boy meets girl, boy marries girl, boy and girl are forced by the court system to try to work it all out (for love). Classic. Let’s go!
What Happens in Vegas (2008) – BMeTric: 30.7; Notability: 43
StreetCreditReport.com –BMeTric: top 24.0%; Notability: top 13.2%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 22.1%; Higher BMeT: Meet the Spartans, Disaster Movie, The Hottie & the Nottie, The Love Guru, Prom Night, One Missed Call, Superhero Movie, The Spirit, Zombie Strippers!, The Happening, College Road Trip, The Haunting of Molly Hartley, 10,000 BC, An American Carol, Meet Dave, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, College, Space Chimps, First Sunday, Witless Protection, and 40 more; Higher Notability: The Day the Earth Stood Still, Eagle Eye, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, New York, I Love You, Miracle at St. Anna, You Don’t Mess with the Zohan, Meet Dave, Jumper, Bedtime Stories, Drillbit Taylor, Semi-Pro, An American Carol, The Love Guru, The Happening, Superhero Movie, Seven Pounds, Made of Honor, 10,000 BC, Four Christmases, Max Payne, and 13 more; Lower RT: One Missed Call, House, Surfer, Dude, Disaster Movie, Meet the Spartans, Strange Wilderness, The Haunting of Molly Hartley, Witless Protection, College, The Accidental Husband, The Hottie & the Nottie, Babylon A.D., Prom Night, Bangkok Dangerous, 10,000 BC, Shutter, Hell Ride, Fool’s Gold, Deception, First Sunday, and 34 more; Notes: Clawing its way back to 6.0 which isn’t so bad. Not so bad at all. The Notability is pretty high I think for a comedy, probably a testament to the stacked cast.
Leonard Maltin – 2.5 stars – Super-organized Diaz, dumped by her fiance, and irresponsible Jutcher, fired by his father from the family business, both seek escape in Las Vegas – and wind up married to one another after a drunken evening. But dissolving the union becomes a challenge when a judge orders them to live together for six months. About what you’d expect, especially as the duo engage in dirty tricks, but as the film goes on it becomes more benign and entertaining – boosted by the two stars’ engaging personalities.
(Sounds about right. I think most bad reviews seem to be very focused on how trite the whole concept is and how the film really brings nothing new to the table.)
(Man they should have left out the judge part of it. Without that the film kind of makes sense. With it it ends up just teetering off the edge of a farce. What kind of judge would want to deal with some annulment nonsense 6 months later? It doesn’t make sense, just split the money and annul the marriage, simple.)
Directors – Tom Vaughan – ( Known For: Starter for 10; Some Kind of Beautiful; Extraordinary Measures; So Undercover; BMT: What Happens in Vegas; Notes: He’s been doing a lot of television, like The Flight Attendant recently. He had a very brief foray into features.)
Writers – Dana Fox – ( Known For: The Lost City; Cruella; How to Be Single; Isn’t It Romantic; The Wedding Date; Future BMT: Couples Retreat; BMT: What Happens in Vegas; Notes: Apparently she was tapped to punch up Knight and Day because of this film, recommended by Diaz herself, but she didn’t receive credit.)
Actors – Cameron Diaz – ( Known For: Shrek; Shrek 2; Gangs of New York; Shrek the Third; The Mask; Minority Report; There’s Something About Mary; Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas; Being John Malkovich; Shrek Forever After; The Holiday; My Best Friend’s Wedding; Charlie’s Angels; Knight and Day; Bad Teacher; Annie; Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle; In Her Shoes; The Box; Any Given Sunday; Future BMT: Sex Tape; The Other Woman; The Counselor; Slackers; BMT: Vanilla Sky; The Sweetest Thing; What Happens in Vegas; What to Expect When You’re Expecting; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actress in 2015 for Sex Tape, and The Other Woman; Nominee for Worst Actress, and Worst Screen Couple for What Happens in Vegas in 2009; Nominee for Worst Actress for Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle in 2004; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actress for Annie in 2015; and Nominee for Worst Screen Combo for Sex Tape in 2015; Notes: Y’all know Diaz. Famously broke her nose surfing and that is why she got a nose job. She stopped acting in 2014 to pursue health science ventures.)
Ashton Kutcher – ( Known For: No Strings Attached; Annie; Spread; Guess Who; Open Season; A Lot Like Love; Coming Soon; Bobby; Personal Effects; Future BMT: The Butterfly Effect; Dude, Where’s My Car?; Just Married; Reindeer Games; My Boss’s Daughter; BMT: Cheaper by the Dozen; Killers; New Year’s Eve; Valentine’s Day; What Happens in Vegas; The Guardian; Jobs; Down to You; Texas Rangers; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actor in 2011 for Killers, and Valentine’s Day; Nominee for Worst Actor in 2004 for Cheaper by the Dozen, Just Married, and My Boss’s Daughter; and in 2014 for Jobs; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple for What Happens in Vegas in 2009; Notes: He’s pretty much stopped acting interestingly. I think it is because he’s a genuinely successful venture capitalist maybe? That and he’s started a family with Mila Kunis.)
Rob Corddry – ( Known For: The Way Way Back; Hot Tub Time Machine; Old School; Pain & Gain; Blades of Glory; Warm Bodies; Semi-Pro; Seeking a Friend for the End of the World; The Layover; W.; Shimmer Lake; Office Christmas Party; Arthur and the Invisibles; Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay; Muppets Most Wanted; How to Be a Latin Lover; Hot Tub Time Machine 2; The Winning Season; Butter; In a World…; Future BMT: Sex Tape; The Heartbreak Kid; BMT: Failure to Launch; What Happens in Vegas; I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; Escape from Planet Earth; Unaccompanied Minors; Notes: Still working. He was one of the more notable Daily Show correspondents back in that show’s true heyday. Won four Emmys for Children’s Hospital.)
Top 10: Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Shrek 2 (2004), Beetlejuice (1988), True Romance (1993), Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008), Identity (2003), Groundhog Day (1993), The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (2011), Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011), Disturbia (2007)
Future BMT: 80.6 The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas (2000), 69.0 Showgirls (1995), 56.1 Shutter (2008), 39.9 The Heartbreak Kid (2007), 38.6 Play It to the Bone (1999), 36.1 The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (2013), 35.0 Vegas Vacation (1997), 32.7 Indecent Proposal (1993), 31.3 Lucky You (2007), 18.6 Awake (2007)
BMT: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (2011), Yours, Mine & Ours (2005), Maximum Overdrive (1986), What Happens in Vegas (2008), Over the Top (1987), Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous (2005), 3000 Miles to Graceland (2001), Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 (2015)
Matches: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (2011), What Happens in Vegas (2008), The Heartbreak Kid (2007), 13 Cameras (2015), Best Man Down (2012), Broken Vows (2014), Arthur Newman (2012), Lovely Molly (2011), Carnage (1984), Honeymoon Horror (1982), Prisoners of Inertia (1989), 21 (2008), The Hangover (2009), Ocean’s Eleven (2001), Con Air (1997), Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004), Showgirls (1995), Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998), Indecent Proposal (1993), Leaving Las Vegas (1995), Smokin’ Aces (2006), Mars Attacks! (1996), Vegas Vacation (1997), The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (2013), Wild Card (2015), Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous (2005), Bugsy (1991), The Cooler (2003), Last Vegas (2013), Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 (2015), One from the Heart (1981), The Trust (2016), Lucky You (2007), Play It to the Bone (1999), Lookin’ to Get Out (1982), Station to Station (2021), Delusion (1991), Weedjies: Halloweed Night (2019), Diamonds and Guns (2008), Three Corners of Deception (2021), Las Vegas Vietnam: The Movie (2019), The Garlock Incident (2012), Deadly Rhapsody (2001), Desert Steel (1994), Ride Me (1994), Sawgrass (2019)
(C-c-c-c-c-c-combo keyword. Look at that sweet one. I’ll leave it up to you to guess which movies are newlywed movies and which Vegas movies. Is Rock Vegas the same as Las Vegas? I’m skeptical.)
Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 16) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Rob Corddry is No. 3 billed in What Happens in Vegas and No. 3 billed in Escape from Planet Earth, which also stars Jessica Alba (No. 2 billed) who is in Mechanic: Resurrection (No. 2 billed) which also stars Jason Statham (No. 1 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (No. 1 billed) which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => (3 + 3) + (2 + 2) + (1 + 1) + (3 + 1) = 16. If we were to watch Annie, and Wicker Park we can get the HoE Number down to 14.
Notes – Diaz and Kutcher stated in a post-production interview that they were actually drunk during the wedding scene in order to make it look realistic and their erratic behavior caused the scene to be filmed multiple times. An video of the outtakes was available online, but Fox blocked it due to copyright infringement.
According to Rob Corddry, Ashton Kutcher slapped him in the face during his audition even though it was not scripted.
Joy’s party trick was performed by Cameron Diaz in another movie – Charlie’s Angel’s: Full Throttle during the recovery of the Halo rings.
The lobby of their hotel is the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. The view from their room places them in the northern most part of the building with a view of the Paris and Caesars Palace.
Rob Corddry’s character is a lawyer who mentions community college early on in the film. A year later, Corddry would go on to play a lawyer again in the NBC sitcom Community, set in a community college.
The nameplate of the divorce judge in the court reads “Honor the whopper” (Hon. R. D. Whopper)
In a flashback in a scene during end credits, the protagonists are shown getting married in Las Vegas. In an additional scene, we see Tipper (Lake Bell) punching Mason (Jason Sudeikis) in the groin.
Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actress (Cameron Diaz, 2009)
Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screen Couple (Cameron Diaz, Ashton Kutcher, 2009)
Yours, Mine & Ours is of course the classic buddy cop comedy film about Detective Frank Yours, a hardscrabble cop from the wrong side of the tracks. He doesn’t play by nobody’s rules and is all about cracking skulls. Detective Benson Mine is his worst nightmare. The preppy nogoodnick son of the mayor, he’s always got a wisecrack for the brass and a wink for the ladies. Ooooooh boy, and wouldn’t you know it they’ve been paired up to solve a series of mysterious serial murders. And oh ho, what’s this? They have to do all this all while taking care of Baby Dudley Ours, the only survivor of the latest grisly murder who may hold the key to the whole thing…. Alright, fine, that’s not what the film is about. Let me break it down for you:
Alright I gotta give it to you, the original film was quite charming in kinda of a quaint, plotless kind of way and in fact the first thirty minutes of the new one was also kinda charming. Was it super weird that Dennis Quaid and Rene Russo reconnect in their hometown of New London, CT and then after seeing each other at their high school reunion get married? And I don’t mean, hey we should get married sometime, let’s plan a wedding. I mean they apparently come home from the reunion married and their kids are understandably like ‘WTF, mate?’ Yes it was very weird and confusing. Still, it was kinda nice that a couple of older people who lost their spouses could find a future together.
That’s where it ends for me. I can’t stand these types of unpleasant films where people are pitted against each other for the “amusement” of the audience. What’s worse is that the kids all gang up on poor mismatched Russo and Quaid and make them hate each other. Are they perfect for each other? Hell no. In fact the kids seem to be the only adults in the room that realize that they make no sense together and that maybe their rush to the altar was a bit misguided. Does that mean I’ll find the dissolution of their marriage a barrel of laughs? Nope. They may not make logical sense with each other, but do you know what does make sense? A couple of silver fox/cougar hotties enjoying each others’ company… you know, sexually. So get with the program, kids.
So, I think we can all agree that this was a torture chamber of horrors that should never have been made. Too harsh? Well, fine, that they took a perfectly fine original film and turned it into a generic comedy complete with free-spirits pitted against conservatives. Much like The Break-Up before it they seem to find all their humor in people fighting. It had only one redeeming thing about it: a scene where one of the kids, fresh off successfully breaking up their parents, asks if his siblings would enjoy some delicious double stuf oreos. I didn’t laugh much, but I laughed at that. Patrick?
‘Ello everyone! Yours, Mine & Ours (2005)? More like Poor Idle Hours … uh, amirite? I don’t think I am actually, that is gibberish. Back in 2005 some film executive asked their assistant to watch the original Yours, Mine and Ours and tell him about it. That assistant called it a “really pleasant story about two compatible people who fall in love and have a big family.” And the executive, crestfallen, looked up and said “Well, I suppose we’ll just have to make them an odd couple and have everyone hate each other.” Let’s go!
A remake of a very pleasant film is made decidedly unpleasant. The story of film production in the 00s.
Whole story elements make no sense. They impulsively get married on a whim without telling anyone? Even weirder Frank knows he’s probably going to be moving to Washington D.C. and doesn’t seem to remember that for half the film? And weirder still he ends up getting the promotion after being at the Coast Guard academy for only a few months? None of this adds up!
Hawk Nelson is the band at the party that Drake Bell is pretending to be a guitarist for, in case anyone is curious.
You can tell this was a much longer film that was then cut to about 80 minutes to form a vaguely coherent story. Jerry O’Connell and David Koechner play major roles in the first third of the film and then disappear to only appear for a split second riiiiiight at the end of the film.
Brought to you by sailing. Amazing how quickly Frank gets his sailing boat from San Diego to Connecticut … unless there is supposed to be more time passing. Impossible to tell. Mark of good storytelling.
Unbelievable Product Placement (What?) for the aforementioned Oreos. Pretty nice Setting as a Character (Where?) for New London, Connecticut. And Worst Twist (How?) for Chekov’s Lighthouse Story paying off in the end. Definitely a Bad unpleasant no-good film.
Can you tell I didn’t like this film? Amazingly the original is pretty good, if a bit old fashioned. There isn’t really much drama (beyond a decision as to whether they will adopt each other’s kids), but there is a lot of story and heart and the two leads seem to work well together. I liked it.
This needs a remake to the remake. Although, I suppose it would make more sense as a series. There are 18 kids plus two adults, but the stories can come in pairs. So 1 episode for the adults getting together. Then 9 episodes, each telling a story about how two of the kids get along / compete / interact. That’s it. Ten episode seasons, and you can mix and match the 20 people as you wish, but every season it tells 10 vignettes about this big family and them working together and learning and loving, etc. Nailed it.
Oh man, so my new dad (who I hate!) made me go sailing (so dumb). And sure, he warned me the sail was coming about, but I wasn’t listening and I got bopped right on the head. Now I can’t remember a thing! Do you remember what happened in Yours, Mine & Ours (2005)?
Pop Quiz Hot Shot!
1) At the beginning of the film the Beardsleys have just moved (again!!). From where to where, and why?
2) Where do Frank and Helen meet? How did they know each other?
3) What story does Frank tell Helen about why he wants to fix the lighthouse?
4) What 8 (or maybe 10?) things do the children do to try and drive Frank and Helen apart?
5) Why do the kids decide to stop Frank from becoming the Commandant, and how do they do it?
Bonus Question: In the mid-credits scene a mysterious man walks up to Frank and Helen from their past. Who and why?
“These mashed potatoes are delicious, Mom… er… I mean, Young Jamie and Patrick’s Mom,” Jamie says enthusiastically, mashed potatoes falling from his mouth. Having dined with their younger selves, Patrick and Jamie are counting the minutes until their next unexpected obstacle presents itself. A serial killer? Perhaps a pumpkinhead or a phantom of the opera? Hopefully not a lawnmower man, the scariest of all the spooky Halloween fiends. They jump at the sound of a knock at the door. “That must be Mikey,” Young Jamie says with glee and rushes from the table. Before they can stop him, he opens the door and… phew, Jamie and Patrick stop themselves just in time, inches from cracking an innocent child with a mean Twin Chop (patent pending). The kid looks like a total nerd alert in his clown costume and to think, they were worried about little Mikey from around the block. Mikey seems nervous. “You guys invited me over?” he asks tentatively, “but I’m sure it was just a mistake,” he finishes quietly. Young Jamie and Patrick look back at their older selves and shake their heads. “No it wasn’t a mistake,” says Jamie. Patrick agrees, “It’s just that we’ve realized that we’ve been a couple of big ol’ lame-o jerks.” They clap Mikey on the shoulder and ask if he wants to go trick-or-treating with them tonight. Jamie and Patrick’s hearts melt. Turns out there was nothing to worry about after all, just a heartwarming story of friendship. Mikey beams, but then looks nervous again. “I don’t think I can,” he says sadly. Sensing something off, Jamie and Patrick ask what’s wrong and remind him that secrets are for sharing. Young Jamie agrees. “Now that we’re best buds, what’s yours is mine… it’s ours!” That’s right! We are jumping right to Yours, Mine & Ours. It’s basically The Brady Bunch times a thousand and is based on a 60’s film that was much better received than this remake that everyone was definitely asking for. The weirdest thing about watching this now is that the original film happens to also play a minor role in current Academy Award hopeful Licorice Pizza (or as the kids call it Licorice Za). So pretty timely stuff. Let’s go!
StreetCreditReport.com –BMeTric: top 16.8%; Notability: top 12.8%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 2.4%; Higher BMeT: Son of the Mask, Alone in the Dark, BloodRayne, The Fog, The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D, xXx: State of the Union, Boogeyman, Elektra, Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo, Bewitched, A Sound of Thunder, Are We There Yet?, The Crow: Wicked Prayer, The Dukes of Hazzard, The Honeymooners, Stealth, Cursed, Doom, Dirty Love, Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous, and 22 more; Higher Notability: The Island, Fantastic Four, Kingdom of Heaven, Bewitched, Domino, Be Cool, Fun with Dick and Jane, xXx: State of the Union, Memoirs of a Geisha, Chicken Little, The Longest Yard, The Great Raid, Son of the Mask, Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous, Stealth, Cursed, The Ring Two, Flightplan, The Dukes of Hazzard, Æon Flux, and 12 more; Lower RT: The Crow: Wicked Prayer, Alone in the Dark, BloodRayne, The Fog, Chaos, Supercross; Notes: Mid-5.0 is where I would expect it. Oh ho ho, so this is just a shade better than Supercross … well, I’ll be the judge of that.
RogerEbert.com – 1.5 stars – ‘Yours, Mine & Ours” has one thing to be thankful for: Frank and Helen realize immediately that they’re still in love, all these years after they were the prom king and queen in high school. They see each other, they dance, they talk while dancing, they kiss while talking, and in the next scene, they’re engaged to be married. That saves us the Idiot Plot device in which they’re destined for each other, but are kept apart by a series of misunderstandings. In this version, they’re brought together by a series of misunderstandings, mostly on the part of the filmmakers, who thought they could remake the 1968 Henry Fonda-Lucille Ball film without its sweetness and charm.
(Having seen the original that seems like a dire warning. The only thing the original film had was sweetness and charm. There wasn’t even really a plot, it was pure sweetness and charm.)
(Thanks I hate it. I guess I kind of see what they were going for … it is Nickelodeon Studios so they are looking for something that will entertain kids in like fourth grade and they need some IP for that purpose. What’s better for pratfalls than a ton of children?)
Directors – Raja Gosnell – ( Known For: Never Been Kissed; Beverly Hills Chihuahua; Future BMT: Scooby-Doo; Home Alone 3; Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed; The Smurfs; The Smurfs 2; BMT: Big Momma’s House; Yours, Mine & Ours; Show Dogs; Notes: Was originally a pretty big editor, but transitioned to directing in 1996. Still does, he’s attached as the director to the new Santa movie, Santa: The Adventure Begins, which I think I heard of on a podcast.)
Writers – Ron Burch and David Kidd – ( Known For: Ferdinand; BMT: Yours, Mine & Ours; Head Over Heels; Notes: Were nominated for an Emmy for helping to write a song in the show The Closer. They produced and wrote on Dinotrux.)
Melville Shavelson – ( Known For: Yours, Mine and Ours; Houseboat; A New Kind of Love; Wonder Man; Room for One More; Cast a Giant Shadow; April in Paris; On Moonlight Bay; It Started in Naples; The Paleface; The Five Pennies; The Princess and the Pirate; The War Between Men and Women; Trouble Along the Way; The Kid from Brooklyn; It’s a Great Feeling; I’ll See You in My Dreams; Sorrowful Jones; The Daughter of Rosie O’Grady; The Seven Little Foys; BMT: Yours, Mine & Ours; Notes: One of the original writers. Was nominated for two Oscars, for Houseboat and Jack Rose. Was president of the Writers Guild on multiple occasions.)
Mort Lachman – ( Known For: Yours, Mine and Ours; Call Me Bwana; Mixed Company; BMT: Yours, Mine & Ours; Notes: Again, credited for the original. Was nominated for six Emmys (three for Kate & Allie, and three for All in the Family), and won one (for All in the Family))
Madelyn Davis and Bob Carroll Jr. – ( Known For: Yours, Mine and Ours; I Love Lucy; BMT: Yours, Mine & Ours; Notes: They were nominated for three Emmys (for I Love Lucy and Here’s Lucy), so they knew Lucille Ball, which explains why they wrote on the original film.)
Actors – Dennis Quaid – ( Known For: American Underdog; Midway; The Day After Tomorrow; Stripes; The Parent Trap; Traffic; Any Given Sunday; Footloose; Soul Surfer; A Dog’s Journey; The Right Stuff; I Can Only Imagine; DragonHeart; Innerspace; Frequency; Breaking Away; The Long Riders; Enemy Mine; Blue Miracle; Smart People; Future BMT: G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra; Wyatt Earp; Legion; Pandorum; Kin; The Words; Vantage Point; The Alamo; Flight of the Phoenix; Cold Creek Manor; Something to Talk About; Undercover Blues; Switchback; American Dreamz; BMT: Movie 43; Jaws 3-D; A Dog’s Purpose; What to Expect When You’re Expecting; Yours, Mine & Ours; The Intruder; Playing for Keeps; Notes: Nominated for an Emmy for playing Bill Clinton in The Special Relationship. The younger brother of Randy Quaid who had already established a career in Hollywood when he moved there after dropping out of the University of Houston.)
Rene Russo – ( Known For: Avengers: Endgame; Thor; Thor: The Dark World; Nightcrawler; The Intern; Major League; The Thomas Crown Affair; Lethal Weapon 3; Lethal Weapon 4; Outbreak; Ransom; In the Line of Fire; Velvet Buzzsaw; Get Shorty; Tin Cup; Big Trouble; The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle; Frank and Cindy; Future BMT: Two for the Money; Showtime; Major League II; Just Getting Started; Mr. Destiny; One Good Cop; Buddy; BMT: Yours, Mine & Ours; Freejack; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actress for The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle in 2001; Notes: Met her husband Dan Gilroy on the set of recent BMT film Freejack. Apparently wore a brace for scoliosis in junior high.)
Jerry O’Connell – ( Known For: Scream 2; Stand by Me; Jerry Maguire; Piranha 3D; Can’t Hardly Wait; The Secret: Dare to Dream; Veronica Mars; Satanic Panic; Lies and Alibis; Buying the Cow; Reign of the Supermen; Body Shots; Space Station 76; Man About Town; Room 6; Deep Murder; Fat Slags; Baby on Board; The Lookalike; Future BMT: Obsessed; The New Guy; Tomcats; Mission to Mars; Wish Upon; Joe’s Apartment; Calendar Girl; BMT: Scary Movie V; Yours, Mine & Ours; Kangaroo Jack; Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach; Notes: Married Rebecca Romijn in 2007 and had twins girls in 2008. Apparently the first male host of CBS’ The Talk.)
(My least favorite genre of modern posters. In the 80’s this would have been hand drawn in a Meatball’s kind of way and for some reason that’s more palatable. With actual pictures of people it has far too much white space, the colors aren’t consistent and it generally looks bad. But OK font and fine spacing rescue it a little. C-)
Tagline(s) – 18 kids, one house, no way. (A)
Rock the house! (F)
(You gotta give a classic it’s due. That first tagline is short, is a classic rule of three, and gives a clear idea of the specific plot. Some question of cleverness, but it’s playing with numbers, so I think fair enough. The second is funny in a sad way. Made only sadder by its positioning near the photoshopped picture of a pig eating a pizza below Rene Russo’s legs.)
Top 10: The King’s Man (2021), Scream (1996), Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021), The Karate Kid (1984), Avengers: Endgame (2019), Pig (2021), Interstellar (2014), Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood (2019), Ron’s Gone Wrong (2021), Inception (2010)
Future BMT: 76.9 Superhero Movie (2008), 63.1 Underdog (2007), 57.5 I Don’t Know How She Does It (2011), 56.2 Ghost Dad (1990), 50.3 Racing Stripes (2005), 49.7 Just Married (2003), 48.4 White Noise (2005), 46.5 Winchester (2018), 45.6 A Kid in King Arthur’s Court (1995), 44.6 The Rhythm Section (2020)
BMT: Independence Day: Resurgence (2016), Countdown (2019), When in Rome (2010), Blended (2014), Warcraft (2016), Fantasy Island (2020), The 5th Wave (2016), Death Wish (2018), Elektra (2005), A Walk to Remember (2002), Thir13en Ghosts (2001), The Choice (2016), Into the Storm (2014), Safe Haven (2013), Zoolander 2 (2016), Color of Night (1994), I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry (2007), Max Payne (2008), Alex Cross (2012), Texas Rangers (2001), Yours, Mine & Ours (2005), The Intruder (2019), Universal Soldier: The Return (1999), Are We Done Yet? (2007), I Dreamed of Africa (2000), September Dawn (2007)
Matches: The Nice Guys (2016), Rebecca (2020), Sleepless in Seattle (1993), The Constant Gardener (2005), My Girl (1991), Babel (2006), Nanny McPhee (2005), Safe Haven (2013), Dan in Real Life (2007), Fathers & Daughters (2015), Dead Silence (2007), Hide and Seek (2005), Jersey Girl (2004), Arlington Road (1999), Smart People (2008), This Beautiful Fantastic (2016), Mission to Mars (2000), Return to Me (2000), Yours, Mine & Ours (2005), The Intruder (2019), Our Souls at Night (2017), Ghost Dad (1990), Everybody’s Fine (2009), Underdog (2007), Dog Days (2018), Love Happens (2009), Mother and Child (2009), Martian Child (2007), Out to Sea (1997), … and many more.
(That might be a genuine 2008 dip! Sometimes it is just because less films were being made around there, but I could genuinely see Hollywood thinking no one wants to hear about widowers during an international financial collapse.)
Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 19) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Dennis Quaid is No. 1 billed in Yours, Mine & Ours and No. 1 billed in The Intruder, which also stars Meagan Good (No. 2 billed) who is in The Love Guru (No. 5 billed) which also stars Jessica Alba (No. 2 billed) who is in Mechanic: Resurrection (No. 2 billed) which also stars Jason Statham (No. 1 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (No. 1 billed) which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => (1 + 1) + (2 + 5) + (2 + 2) + (1 + 1) + (3 + 1) = 19. If we were to watch American Dreamz we can get the HoE Number down to 10.
Notes – Drake Bell and Miranda Cosgrove played brother and sister in the Nickelodeon kid’s show, Drake & Josh (2004).
The party band in the movie is a Christian alternative rock band called Hawk Nelson.
Danielle Panabaker originally tried to get the part of Christina but was changed back and forth and eventually got the part of Phoebe because of her resemblance to Rene Russo.
The house the Beardsley family is moving into in the beginning of the film is the same house the Banks family lives in in the 1991 remake of Father of the Bride.
In the 1968 original film, Frank Beardsley (portrayed by Henry Fonda) was an active duty US Navy Chief Warrant Officer (a rank between commissioned officers and non-commissioned officers, usually granted to expert technical specialists with extensive experience), while in this remake, Frank Beardsley is a US Coast Guard Rear Admiral.
When Mrs. Munion is relaxing in her room, she is watching WWE Royal Rumble 2005. As Dylan wakes up, he has a WWE Magazine over his head.
Nominees for Commandant must be approved by Congress after appearing before House and Senate committees.
This was the first film to be co-produced by Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The original 1968 film was produced by Desilu Productions, which merged with Paramount the year before, so the film’s copyright was renewed by Paramount. However, United Artists (owned by MGM since 1981) has retained full distribution rights to the 1968 film to this day. Columbia Pictures became involved once its parent company, Sony, purchased a stake in MGM.
Oh man, so get this. I was pretending to be a supermodel (natch, I’m hot AF), but I tripped on my super high heels and fell … head over heels, and bopped my head on the catwalk. Now I can’t remember a thing! Do you remember what happened in Head Over Heels?
Pop Quiz Hot Shot!
1) In the beginning our hero Amanda is looking for a place to live. Why?
2) Our hero also works at The Met restoring art. And her boss has a huuuuuge job for her. What does he want her to do?
3) We’re getting a meet cute up in here. How do Jim and Amanda meet? What does Jim do?
4) Amanda thinks she sees her new almost-boyfriend, Jim, kill a woman. What was he actually doing?
5) What plot does Jim and Amanda discover the bad guys were up to in the end?
Bonus Question: So, what happens to all of the supermodels after Jim and Amanda go off to live their wonderful lives together?
Jamie and Patrick quake in fear as they prepare to face the devil himself on the other side of the door to their apartment. They should have anticipated this problem. With the power that the Dongle possesses, no wonder even the devil wants to get his claws on it. Jamie swings the door wide and Patrick leaps forth with a silver cross in one hand and spraying holy water with the other. Hardscrabble reporter Lindsey Appleton sputters, drenched in holy water. “What the hell, guys? My pants suit is ruined. And here I was bringing you a six pack of delicious Coca-Cola to jazz up another night of protecting the Dongle!” Kyle quickly enters with an apology and shakes his head sadly as he escorts Lindsey and the delicious Coca-Cola to the other room. Jamie is aghast. “Delicious Coca-Cola, Patrick? Soft pretzels? Kyle is having the time of his life at our expense because you simply can’t accept that the Dongle is safe even for a moment.” Patrick stares at the cityscape spread out in front of him. Perhaps they were right. Perhaps he just needed to relax about the whole Dongle business and get back to living his life. “I’m sorry, Jamie. We may not have delicious Coca-Cola or soft pretzels at our fingertips, but we always have this,” and with that he holds up their well worn Here on Earth DVD. Jamie smiles and breaks out the popping corn. But before those kernels can get a-poppin’, Kyle reappears. Blushing, he asks them to apologize to Lindsey and invite her back. “It’s just that… tonight was gonna be a big night for me and Rachel. I’m talking L-O-V-E and I need some advice.” Jamie and Patrick nod and sit him down in front of HoE just in time. That’s right! It’s not HoE (unfortunately) but it’s a Freddie Prinze Jr. joint, so nothing to sniff at. It’s the 20 year anniversary of the release of Head Over Heels… you know, the one where Freddie Prinze Jr. smirks and is a really good guy even though he looks like he should be a really terrible guy? Yeah, that one. Let’s go!
Head Over Heels (2001) – BMeTric: 40.1; Notability: 38
StreetCreditReport.com –BMeTric: top 14.8%; Notability: top 19.6%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 5.0%; Higher BMeT: Glitter, Jason X, Freddy Got Fingered, Driven, The Animal, Ghosts of Mars, Black Knight, Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles, Soul Survivors, Valentine, Monkeybone, Corky Romano, Scary Movie 2, The Musketeer, The Wedding Planner, Bones, Say It Isn’t So, The Order, Summer Catch, The Wash, and 17 more; Higher Notability: Pearl Harbor, Monkeybone, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Hannibal, Impostor, Ghosts of Mars, Not Another Teen Movie, Bubble Boy, Swordfish, 15 Minutes, Town & Country, The One, Scary Movie 2, The Affair of the Necklace, I Am Sam, America’s Sweethearts, Along Came a Spider, Perfume, Joe Dirt, The Animal, and 29 more; Lower RT: The Order, Texas Rangers, Soul Survivors, Glitter, All the Queen’s Men, Corky Romano, The Forsaken, Summer Catch, The Wash, Out Cold, Say It Isn’t So, Megiddo: The Omega Code 2; Notes: Man, we have a ton of really bad 2001 films left don’t we. Mid-5.0 on IMDb is pretty high, much higher than I would have expected for this.
RogerEbert.com – 1.5 stars – “Head Over Heels” opens with 15 funny minutes and then goes dead in the water. It’s like they sent home the first team of screenwriters and brought in Beavis and Butt-Head. The movie starts out with sharp wit and edgy zingers, switches them off and turns to bathroom humor. And not funny bathroom humor, but painfully phony gas-passing noises, followed by a plumbing emergency that buries three supermodels in a putrid delivery from where the sun don’t shine. It’s as if the production was a fight to the death between bright people with a sense of humor, and cretins who think the audience is as stupid as they are. …It isn’t funny when innocent bystanders are humiliated. It’s funny when they humiliate themselves. For example, “Head Over Heels” would be funny if it were about the people making this movie.
(Huh, that is a lot different than I expected. A solid first 15 minutes? Bathroom humor? None of the trailer really suggests this at all. Very interesting.)
(Wow, a very brief Olyphant cameo. The story seems insane. So I assume the story is one of two things. First, he’s a secret agent or cop or something and that is why he is “murdering” people. Second, it is a mafia story basically, and he’s trying to extract himself from that world and having difficulties. I’m on tenterhooks as to which it is.)
Directors – Mark Waters – ( Known For: Mean Girls; He’s All That; The Spiderwick Chronicles; Freaky Friday; Just Like Heaven; Mr. Popper’s Penguins; Magic Camp; The House of Yes; Future BMT: Bad Santa 2; BMT: Vampire Academy; Ghosts of Girlfriends Past; Head Over Heels; Notes: Married to actress Dina Spybey-Waters and the brother of writer Daniel Waters. I’ll say it again: give these three a chance to write/direct/star in a film. I want to see it!)
Writers – John J. Strauss – ( Known For: The Santa Clause 2; There’s Something About Mary; The Lizzie McGuire Movie; Future BMT: The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause; Free Birds; The Wild; Rebound; BMT: Head Over Heels; Notes: Produced a lot of television these days, including Mozart in the Jungle. Writing a Chinese film called Noodles at the moment.)
Ed Decter – ( Known For: The Santa Clause 2; There’s Something About Mary; The Lizzie McGuire Movie; Future BMT: The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause; The Wild; Rebound; BMT: Head Over Heels; Notes: Most recently created the show Shadowhunters. Also was the director for The New Guy.)
David Kidd and Ron Burch – ( Known For: Ferdinand; Future BMT: Yours, Mine & Ours; BMT: Head Over Heels; Notes: Nominated for an Emmy for Best Original Song for The Closer starring Tom Selleck. The song was called You Don’t Know Jack. They also wrote the Dinotrux television show.)
Actors – Monica Potter – ( Known For: Con Air; Saw; The Last House on the Left; Without Limits; I’m with Lucy; Lower Learning; A Cool, Dry Place; The Very Thought of You; Heaven or Vegas; Future BMT: Patch Adams; Bulletproof; BMT: Along Came a Spider; Head Over Heels; Notes: It is claimed that her father invented the first flame-resistant car wax. She’s from Cleveland, and now mostly does television like Wisdom of the Crowd.)
Freddie Prinze Jr. – ( Known For: Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker; She’s All That; The House of Yes; Brooklyn Rules; Jack and Jill vs. the World; The Reef; New York City Serenade; Future BMT: Scooby-Doo; Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed; Boys and Girls; Happily N’Ever After; Delgo; To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday; BMT: I Know What You Did Last Summer; I Still Know What You Did Last Summer; Summer Catch; Down to You; Head Over Heels; Wing Commander; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Scooby-Doo in 2003; Notes: Does a ton of voice work these days (including as Kanan Jarrus in Star Wars which is why he’s credited in the ninth film). You of course know him as the best friend of Matthew Lillard.)
Shalom Harlow – ( Known For: How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days; Kate & Leopold; In & Out; The Salton Sea; Game 6; Melinda and Melinda; I Love Your Work; Happy Here and Now; BMT: Vanilla Sky; Head Over Heels; Notes: Apparently a huge model, she was worth about $10 million in 1998.)
(Woof. And not just because they give Freddie’s doggie a outsized place on the poster. This is ahead of its time in that it mimics what would become the classic Diane Keaton style of poster. The poster separated into strips of space, no consistent color scheme, and bad font. The Full Keaton. D)
Tagline(s) – Four supermodel roommates. One regular girl. The guy next door doesn’t stand a chance. (D)
Unleash your inner model. (C)
(That second one is really digging deep for a movie that theoretically no one would have seen when they first read the tagline. It’s wordplay on the relatively minor detail about Freddie Prinze Jr. having a large dog that he can’t control. I kinda love it for how nonsensical it is. The first one is somehow worse just for length and the fact that it is not clever in the least.)
Top 10: After (2019), Eyes Wide Shut (1999), Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010), Anna (2019), Pitch Perfect (2012), La La Land (2016), School of Rock (2003), I, Tonya (2017), Pretty Woman (1990), The Terminator (1984)
Future BMT: 71.2 Supergirl (1984), 54.3 The Green Inferno (2013), 51.9 Loser (2000), 50.7 Abandon (2002), 47.8 The Wash (2001), 46.4 On the Line (2001), 45.7 Monster-in-Law (2005), 44.4 Boys and Girls (2000), 43.6 Life of the Party (2018), 37.4 If Lucy Fell (1996)
BMT: After (2019), Police Academy (1984), Burlesque (2010), Vampire Academy (2014), The Sweetest Thing (2002), Urban Legend (1998), I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998), Failure to Launch (2006), Little Nicky (2000), Confessions of a Shopaholic (2009), Made of Honor (2008), Fifty Shades of Black (2016), The Prince and Me (2004), Table 19 (2017), Chairman of the Board (1997), Head Over Heels (2001)
Matches: La La Land (2016), Rent (2005), Shaun of the Dead (2004), Girl, Interrupted (1999), Spenser Confidential (2020), Big Daddy (1999), Three Men and a Baby (1987), Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008), Tootsie (1982), Grandma’s Boy (2006), Single White Female (1992), The Sweetest Thing (2002), Class (1983), Everybody Wants Some!! (2016), Failure to Launch (2006), Reign Over Me (2007), Life of the Party (2018), Wristcutters: A Love Story (2006), Fifty Shades of Black (2016), Starry Eyes (2014), A Million Little Pieces (2018), Prozac Nation (2001), Loser (2000), Going the Distance (2010), Loverboy (1989), Poison Ivy II (1996), Someone Like You (2001), The Wash (2001), Annapolis (2006), Premium Rush (2012), Dead Man on Campus (1998), Jenny’s Wedding (2015), Smiley Face (2007), Chairman of the Board (1997), The Guilty (2000), Kaboom (2010), Head Over Heels (2001), For a Good Time, Call… (2012), … and more
(There weren’t any good keywords from the plot it seemed. I went with this. I’m excited for Monster-in-Law mostly I think. The exact match with Rent is fun.)
Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 16) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Freddie Prinze Jr. is No. 2 billed in Head Over Heels and No. 1 billed in Wing Commander, which also stars Matthew Lillard (No. 3 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (No. 6 billed) which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => (2 + 1) + (3 + 6) + (3 + 1) = 16. If we were to watch Patch Adams, Jack, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 11.
Notes – Amanda’s character has symptoms of Stendhal Syndrome, a condition where seeing a beautiful piece of art or something particularly pleasing to the eye can cause symptoms including dizziness and fainting.
Shalom Harlow has said that she used to live in an environment much like the one Jade, Roxanna, Candi, Holly, and Amanda live in.
Claire Danes was originally set to play the lead role of Amanda Pierce, but dropped out at the last moment. Monica Potter, who’d already been signed on for a smaller role, was moved into Amanda’s part as a result.
Freddie Prinze Jr. was the 1st choice for the role of Jim Winston, with it written for him.
Shalom Harlow, Sarah O’Hare and Tomiko Fraser were real-life models, before getting cast in this film.
Mark Waters used classic films such as “The Philadelphia Story” and “His Girl Friday” as templates for the story.
The film was shot in Vancouver and New York, with the former serving as the substitute for famous New York landmarks such as Stanley Park for Central Park, and their aquarium which had rare Beluga whales.
Dr. Sarah Taylor is a psychologist extraordinaire. When a new mystery man comes into her life at the same time that she becomes the victim of a mystery tormentor’s psychotic games, she starts to suspect they may be one and the same. Can she stop her tormentor (or does she even want to?) before it’s too late? Find out in… Never Talk to Strangers.
How?! Dr. Sarah Taylor specializes in Multiple Personality Disorder (but I’m sure that’ll have no bearing on the plot). She explains how it’s characterized by bouts of amnesia and I’m sure it’s just a coincidence that she also seems to be forgetting a lot… … … Anyway, she’s still reeling from a broken engagement which leaves no room for a relationship with her friendly neighbor or even getting back in touch with her estranged father (hmmmm, isn’t childhood trauma also a sign of MPD? I’m sure that’s not relevant). One day she meets a mysterious sexy guy, Tony, at the grocery store who is mysteriously sexy. They begin a steamy relationship, but something seems off. Not only is he a little volatile, but shortly after starting the relationship terrible things begin to happen to Sarah. First she is sent a bunch of rotting trash as a gift (ok fine) and then her cat is killed and sent to her in a box (well that escalated). At that point she decides to hire a private detective to figure out what his deal is (besides being totally steamy and hot). The detective follows Tony around New York where he reports that it appears that he has another family. Deciding to confront him she gets into his apartment when he’s away and discovers that he has a dossier on her (what a creep!). When she heads back to her apartment she ends up nearly getting killed when a rickety heater falls into the tub she was in. At that point when Tony shows up at her apartment she fears for her life, but he tells her that it’s all twisted. He was hired to investigate her in the disappearance of her former fiance. That in fact it was her all along (WHAT A TWIST!). She has MPD (who could have seen that coming?) due to her childhood trauma inflicted by her pedophile father. Just then her father shows up and Sarah goes into her MPD mode and totally kills both Tony and her father. She then gets away with it because she has MPD and does even remember. THE END.
Why?! Huh, I guess I didn’t think of this at the time. Why… why… WHY??? I mean Tony has a purpose. He was hired by Sarah’s former fiance’s family in order to determine whether she was responsible for his disappearance. Sarah… she just forgets stuff. So I guess she mostly want to live a normal life. Her alter ego is filled with murderous rage. Simple as that.
Who?! It’s hard to say that Dennis Miller is anything but an actor. Claiming he’s like a comic-turned-actor would cover a very large portion of comic actors. BUT… there was this moment in the mid-2000s where Dennis Miller wasn’t just trying to make comedies, he was showing up in numerous thrillers between 1994-1997. Look at this lineup: Disclosure, The Net, Never Talk to Strangers, and Murder at 1600. Wild.
What?! The only thing that really stands out to me is how prominently Dennis Miller displays the bottle of Stoli that represent clue #2 of a million that De Mornay has Multiple Personality Disorder and is in fact the killer. Besides that there is a startling number of autographed photos for sale from this film that no one remembers… some costing over $100!
Where?! In my secret lair where I have all my BMT research there would be a large map hanging with little pins in it for all places that are confirmed settings in BMT films. There would be one little lonesome pin sticking out of Syracuse, NY. That’s Never Talk to Strangers. We see the location listed on Dr. Taylor’s business card. Why Syracuse, NY? No idea. B+.
When?! Secret Holiday Film Alert. From the jump we get Xmas light galore and De Mornay hesitant to invite her abusive father to Christmas dinner (no matter how much of a sad sack he’s become). Interestingly, even by the end of the film it still hasn’t actually reached Christmas Day. So she apparently met, dated, slept with, hired a private detective to follow, and killed Banderas all between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Busy lady. A.
I LOVED THIS MOVIE (in a very BMT way). It kinda has everything we’re looking for. It’s a “very serious” movie made by “very serious” people about “very serious” things, but clearly the studio didn’t like where things were heading with it and turned what was likely a three hour erotic melodrama into an 86 minute fiasco. I harp on the length only because you start the movie and within 10 minutes not only does De Mornay explain what Multiple Personality Disorder is and its association with bouts of amnesia, but then we are treated to her very noticeably forgetting things about her own life… almost as if she herself has amnesia, bum bum bum. It’s impossible for someone to watch this movie and not immediately conclude that De Mornay is the murderer herself. That is unless maybe they were distracted by the warp speed editing that chops everything to pieces. It’s just the best. Add in some truly… uh… interesting sex scenes with Banderas and it really is an unexpected treat. This is basically what I want out of my erotic thrillers. Some erotic thrills (of course) combined with the inevitable need for a twist resulting in some real dumb stuff to laugh at. As for Cover Me, I was surprised to find a competently made thriller within this Skinemax schlock. Color me schlocked (thank you). If you took out the excessive number of sex scenes (leave the library sex scene in, please… what can I say, I’m a fan of libraries) you’d almost think it was a normal film with subpar actors. Oh, I guess minus the sexist undertones inherent to the genre, of course. Patrick?
‘Ello everyone! We got murderers! We got Multiple Personality Disorders! We got the beautiful skyline of Toront… er, (checks notes) Syracuse, NY?! Let’s go!
P’s View on the Preview – It is a rare thing that I roll up to a film basically knowing nothing about it. I was even skeptical that it was a true erotic thriller … because surely I would have known about it in that case, surely it must be just a regular old Ashley-Judd-esque thriller. But nope, it is, indeed, a true erotic thriller. We might now actually be done with them as far as theatrical releases. What were my expectations? To be bored. Why else would this film be so thoroughly panned and so thoroughly forgotten?
The Good – The movie looks great, but feels like a low-key ABC detective/psychologist procedural at times (if you cut out the nudity). I don’t know what it is, but everything feels so extremely bizarre that it could only have existed on television at 10PM on Fridays on ABC. Honestly, that’s a good thing. I like those types of shows, and it ended up being a nice relaxing watch (between sex scenes). Banderas and De Mornay both were great as well I thought. The film had a lot going for it under the hood. Best Bit: De Mornay in the end.
The Bad – The film is chopped to pieces and they telegraph the twist ending so early that the entire film deflates in front of you. All of the good work Banderas puts in to seems like a sleazy creep is all for nought because one could not possibly think he’s the murderer … because De Morney is obviously the murderer. The whole thing runs off kilter because the twist is so obvious. Watch the trailer … they are obviously setting it up for Banderas being the prime suspect. Look at the poster! But then watch the movie and realize that for not one single moment do you think he’s the murderer … because De Mornay is. They’ve already told you this. Baffling. But entertainingly so. It is like watching a Hannibal Lecter film where he’s the main character, but he’s like “My god, who could be eating all of these people?! Maybe this creep over here.” And then at the end they just go “It was Lecter all along!” and you, dumbstruck, stare at the screen thinking “wait … was I not supposed to think that the entire time?” Fatal flaw: I mean … the non-twist. I can’t stop thinking about it!
The BMT – This might be the best worst twist in film history? There are crazy bad twists (like in The Call) that ruin films because, for whatever reason, something producers feel the need for some big “thing” to happen at the end of the film. But this is definitely intended as a twist, but is such a not-twist that it makes you wonder if you are the stupid one for watching the movie with the obvious twist in mind. For real … did I watch the movie wrong? Did it meet my expectations? Usually BMT films merely do meet my expectations. This so far exceeded them that it is blowing my mind. I don’t get it. I still don’t get it. I will never get it. Be right back, I need to watch Never Talk to Strangers again.
Roast-radamus – Maybe the best Product Placement (What?) since (checks notes) Certs in Terminal Velocity, with the main character nervously applying Chapstick throughout the film. Also a truly incredible Setting as a Character (Where?) for Syracuse, NY for whatever reason (although it is clearly filmed in Toronto). And simultaneously the best and Worst Twist (How?) for the “reveal” that Sarah was the baddie all along (wait … were we supposed to not know that from the jump?). And incredibly BMT in the end, against all odds.
Sequel, Prequel, Remake – The most interesting idea is probably a television Remake. Much like Hannibal you frame it as Sarah is a criminal psychologist who specializes in Multiple Personality Disorder. But what she doesn’t realize is that she herself has MPD, and that there are three different Sarahs. There is the diligent psychologist trying to deduce the trauma and diagnose the disorders for the criminally insane. There is a protector, who herself applies pressure to get information (and is Sarah’s unknown source of investigative information) and protects Sarah from those who mean her harm. And there is a third which is a homemaker with a family, oblivious to the other two. The reveal of the third personality occurs at the end of the first season. At the end of the second season the protector fakes the third personality’s death to get her husband off of their trail. And in the series finale, it all comes crashing down as the husband (trying to determine who murdered his wife) finds out it was his wife all along! Same ending to the sequel in the quiz, slow zoom out from the asylum where Sarah is getting treatment after her diagnosis is revealed. Never Talk to Strangers would still be the name, although it makes less sense given the description. A little bit of a stretch, but you’d have to say that the “strangers” are the other personalities hidden within or something.
Bring a Friend Analysis – Oh boy. As a friend this time we brought along a genuine Playboy feature film! Cover Me seems to be the first in a series of films made by Playboy in the mid-90s. We chose it mostly because there is, somehow, an FMV adventure game called Blue Heat which was produced concurrently to the film itself (which is insane). But I’ll talk about the game in a second (oh yeah, we played it). The movie is … almost competent? It is pretty wild. If I were to describe the quality it would be straight-to-syndication pilot episode which was ultimately passed on (e.g. K-9000). If not for the need to stop every ten or so minutes for a softcore sex scene the film itself would be okay, although it is certainly offensive from a cross-dressing / transgender perspective 25 years later. Maybe the most bizarre choice is to have the main character (who you mostly see nude for photo shoots and undercover in a strip club) in a monogamous relationship with another detective … it certainly seemed to tie their hands a bit as they danced around the fact that we saw four sex scenes between those two characters. Also crazy that it stars Paul Sorvino, Cerbin Bernsen, and Elliot Gould. The 90s were certainly a wild time, it must have cost a mint for the cast alone (relatively speaking). B+. I like the concept of the film more than actually watching it. It is saved by the (also amazingly competent) video game tie-in, otherwise there is little reason to watch it. Watching it back-to-back with playing the game though is a trip and tells you everything you need to know about the 90s.
You Just Got Schooled – Oh yeah, you didn’t think I was going to not review the game itself, Blue Heat: The Case of the Cover Girl Murders. Firstly, finding and running this game is hilarious. It is only kind of available as an iso rip from the original (4!) CDs, and then it only runs on Windows 3 or (early versions of) 95. I got a Windows 95 emulation up and running. A few tips, make sure you go with an early version of the Pentium (I used Pentium 75), I tried it with a later MMX version and it seemed to cause the videos to stutter. Also you need a graphics card that supports 256 colors, otherwise it will just throw an error during install (I went with Trident TGUI9440). Overall surprisingly painless if you follow this 1997 tutorial for PCem, although you do have to somewhat trust a few downloads (I don’t think I have a weird computer virus …). The actual game? Shockingly long and shockingly competent. It is Full Motion Video and I think made with HyperCard (which is what Myst was made in), and is a very weird game, and not just because of the nudity. It is a long investigation which is totally different from the movie, with very little in the way of knowing what is going on and why. The dialogue system can cut you off if you do something wrong, and they overwhelm the player with a huge number of “pieces of evidence”. The game is both an incredible example of how to make an open-ended criminal investigation adventure game and an unmitigated disaster … wait, that’s kind of like Police Quest! What a revelation. A+ tie-in, but as a game it is more like a straight C, surprisingly good, but still not good.
Oh man, so there I was losing time, finding people killed, the usual. But then I thought “huh … do I have multiple personality disorder?” … Naw. But I do indeed not remember anything. Do you remember what happened in Never Talk to Strangers?
Pop Quiz Hot Shot!
1) Sarah Taylor is a psychologist studying criminal Max to determine if he is fit for trial. What is Max accused of, and what is her initial diagnosis?
2) Later on she meets Tony Ramerez. Where does she meet him, where does he claim he comes from, and why does he claim he’s talking to her?
3) Her family seems to be a bit of a mess as well. Her father Henry shows up, but is unwelcome. What does he do for a living? And her mother was killed when she was a child, how does she say?
4) Throughout the film Sarah receives several disturbing gifts and notes. Name them. And who are they from?
5) From there we start to see flashbacks to an event in her past. What event?
Bonus Question: Ultimately how does the murderous Sarah get caught?