On the whole I am a big fan of Diane Keaton. She is one of the best actresses still working today, grouped amongst Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore and a few others. Her many Woody Allen leading lady stints showed her dramatic and comedic prowess. More recent films such as The Family Stone have shown their dependence on Keaton to save them from failure or at least mediocrity. With that said, Diane Keaton annoyed the hell out of me in Because I Said So. Starring alongside Mandy Moore, "Gilmore Girl's" Lauren Graham and the gorgeous Piper Perabo (who unfortunately gets denied serious screen time), Keaton's overbearing mother character at times makes your ears bleed with her high pitched whining.
Okay perhaps that is a little extreme. Keaton is not bad here, but there are a couple scenes in particular that should have been cut shorter to avoid extending our aural torment. Keaton still manages to do some wonders with the clichéd script, which makes no real attempt to surprise the audience. Instead, it just delays the predictable plot points to extend the film. Keaton's comedic skill, though, as seen in such films as Annie Hall, carries her through even the most unoriginal scenes, such as the interviewing of the prospective dates for her daughter, played by Mandy Moore, who has trouble with dating and relationships. What universe does this film exist in? Probably the same one as She's All That. Mandy Moore's annoying laugh in the film would not be enough to dissuade most men. Check that, any man.
The other part of this film that bothered me was Moore's reaction to Tom Everett Scott's character. Playing the typical, mother's-choice-suitor character, Scott is actually not that unlikable. As opposed to most films of this nature that would have Scott flip out and yell at Moore's character, displaying his true character, the only real outburst he has is when Moore breaks his grandma's candle holder. While his anger shows, he doesn't even yell at Moore. He has the right to be a little upset. Nevertheless, this small event coupled with his early marriage talk leads Moore to her overdone outburst that leads her to the realization that every person in the audience had made 2 hours earlier: that she should be with the other guy. Of course, I feel the same way about who she should end up with, but Scott's character still doesn't seem to deserve the cruel treatment he receives from Moore.
While you might think I am giving away key plot points here, I am, but the great thing is that it doesn't matter. You know how this movie is going to start and certainly how it is going to end. Because I Said So just doesn't take any chances. There are no overtly original scenes or characters and by being devoid of these, even the large amount of charm exuded by the main actors can't overcome the film's failings. While still a decent chick flick (and I like chick flicks), Because I Said So will soon be forgotten, which is demonstrated by the fact that I already cannot remember any of the character's names.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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