Reviewed by: Evan D. Baltz
|Featuring:||Ashton Kutcher, Amanda Peet, Herschel Bleefeld, Kathryn Hahn, Moon Bloodgood|
|Producer:||Kevin J. Messick, Suzann Ellis|
“There’s nothing better than a great romance… to ruin a perfectly good friendship.”
“A Lot Like Love” is a little like a comedy; a little like a romance; a little like a coming of age picture. I am not quite sure it is a lot like anything too substantial.
The movie begins seven years in the past, when Oliver (Austin Kutcher—“Just Married”) meets Emily (Amanda Peet—“The Whole 9 Yards”) at an airport. Emily is breaking up with her rockers boyfriend, and Oliver is off to visit his brother in New York City. As it turns out they are both on the same plane. Emily sees Oliver and seems to find him attractive. While on the plane she “visits” him in the bathroom. Oliver is quite surprised by this forward move and seeks to continue the “relationship” even though we think Emily only wanted a one night stand to get past her breakup. She attempts to get Oliver to move on. He is persistent and they end up spending some time together in New York. Eventually, Oliver tells Emily that he will have his “ducks in line” within six years. He gives her his parent’s number and tells her to call in six years to prove it. They bet $50 on it.
Kutcher plays his character with a bit of “ah shucks” casualness, almost to the point of him being boring. I think the pacing of the film has something to do with that however, as it often seems slow, with scenes running longer than you expect. Peet, as always in my opinion, is watchable. Her eyes and facial expressions are always interesting. We see glimpses of her character’s back story, but there is still some superficiality there.
The story jumps ahead three years. Oliver and Emily hook up again. Then two more years pass and they find each other again. Oliver is on the verge of making it big with a internet diaper company. He and his partner Jeeter (Kal Penn—“Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle”) are in San Francisco to pitch their idea to some venture capitalists. Penn is quite funny in this limited role.
The movie continues to move forward and time and uses a few somewhat familiar plot devices to bring us closer to the present and reveal the ending.
The music in the movie is great. There are lots of good songs throughout that have you singing along or tapping your feet. They assist the pacing a little, but don’t salvage it completely.
There is light cursing in the movie, a half a dozen or so mild profanities, but the Lord’s name is not taken in vain. Several sex scenes are implied or partially shown between Peet and Kutcher, and there is brief “sidal” nudity (as George Costanza would say). This is a movie aimed at twenty-somethings and perhaps thirty-somethings, but I wouldn’t recommend it for teenagers.
I don’t think having sex with someone you haven’t really even met yet is a lot like love. Perhaps staying connected to someone and always finding your way back to them is though. I think a lot of people will relate to the coming of age part of the story, and on that level it works. Don’t expect many out loud laughs, there are only a few. It’s a cute movie, but not much more than that.
Violence: None / Profanity: Minor / Sex/nudity: Mild
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.