Saturday, February 1, 2014
Beauty & the Briefcase (2010) [TV-14] **
This made-for-TV movie is a star vehicle for Hilary Duff, and not much more. Duff plays Lane Daniels, an ambitious young journalist who aspires to be a writer for Cosmopolitan magazine. When she gets the chance to pitch her idea for a story on love in the workplace to an editor at Cosmo (played by Jaime Pressly), Lane is told to get a job in the corporate world, start dating men in suits and write a piece on her real-life experiences.
So, Lane pads her resume and lands an analyst position at an investment banking firm. Both her boss Tom (Michael McMillian) and a coworker Seth (Matt Dallas) have dating potential, but Lane is really intrigued by Liam (Chris Carmack), whom she's met outside the office. Why? Well, like most young women, Lane is looking for her perfect man. She has a checklist, and Liam seems to score really high on the checklist, unless he's lying to her. [As an aside... while most young women may have a checklist, most young men just want to get laid. They will do and say whatever it takes to score well on the checklist. Eventually, though, the truth comes out, which is why two out of three divorce actions are initiated by wives.]
There are several problems with this film. The screenplay is derivative and uninspired with no character development, the direction is lackluster, the leads phone in their performances, there's little chemistry between Duff and any of the male leads, and the film's payoff is totally unbelievable, as in... what? She picked HIM! The woman-with-checklist concept has been done recently in The Ugly Truth with Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler. The ditzy-female-writer concept has been done recently in Confessions of a Shopaholic with Isla Fisher and Hugh Dancy. There are actresses and then there are personalities - Natalie Portman is an actress, but Hilary Duff is just a personality; she needs to take acting lessons and she needs to drop 20 pounds of baby fat. Women may enjoy this bit of fluff, but men should probably pass.
Labels: comedy, romance
Internet Movie Database
RottenTomatoes Averages (critics=NA, viewers=64)