In 1987, Steve Martin and John Candy delivered one of the funniest movies of all time in the form of Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, a comedy about two guys who are trying to get across the country but end up being hit with every disaster possible.
And in 1999, for some reason, this movie was recreated in the form of a romantic comedy with a younger cast who aren't comedians.
What the heck did they think they were going to accomplish?
Forces of Nature is an absurd and boring film that is scared to go to the extremes of Planes, Trains, and Automobiles and at the same time attempts to move beyond that classic's basic plot by throwing in a love triangle of sorts. It falls flat on its face.
First off, Forces of Nature has horrible acting. Ben Affleck seems like he lost a bet to be in this movie because his heart isn't in it in the least. I've seen him do good performances (Good Will Hunting, Boiler Room), but those were in dramas. As for Sandra Bullock, who has credits under her sleeve such as Speed and The Net, relives her Speed 2 performance with an awful character that is supposed to be free but instead is just crazy.
The movie isn't funny, either. There are a few tidbits here and there but most of the situations the characters get into are just that... situations they get into. Is it funny to see a bird get sucked through a plane engine? To see Sandra Bullock standing on top of a train? To see them playing basketball in a K-Mart? To see Ben Affleck trying to hide in a swimming pool?
The dialogue and story just confuses me. I don't know how this story first made it passed the personal examination of the screenwriter, the sharp blade of Dreamworks Pictures, and the discretion of the director.
And the direction is a whole other matter. At times slow motion shots are used and I'm curious as to what the intent of the director was. Did he realize this was a comedy? Because it looks like he was going for the more artistic approach, and in comedy that's usually not a good thing.
Forces of Nature is a force of crap. Be warned, be bored, because Ben Affleck and Sandra Bullock deliver the worst performances of their careers.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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