Thursday, June 3, 2010

Kissing A Fool (1998) [R] ***

It's been over a year since Jay (Jason Lee) was dumped by his girlfriend Natasha. He's writing a book about the breakup, and his publisher has assigned Samantha (Mili Avital) as his editor. Jay and Samantha have a great working relationship; they have similar tastes, they love to read, they have a fondness for Florence, Italy, and they've each had their heart broken. Then Jay introduces Samantha to his buddy Max (David Schwimmer), a swinging-single TV sports broadcaster.

Although Max and Samantha have nothing in common, they fall for each other. Max proposes marriage, and they move in together. Then, after an evening of great sex, Max panics; he's afraid Samantha won't be faithful to him. He needs a test to see if she'll cheat on him, so he asks Jay to seduce her. If Samantha falls for Jay, she fails the test, and the wedding is off. But what Max is really hiding are his doubts about his own ability to be faithful. Jay understands this; while he's repelled by Max's plan, his problem is that writing the book has served its purpose; he's gotten over Natasha and fallen for Samantha. And so Jay is torn between his new love for Samantha and his old loyalty to Max.

In the film's pivotal scene, as they recognize their growing affection for one another, Jay asks Samantha: How do you know beforehand that you're with the wrong person, so you can avoid having them wreak havoc on a large portion of your life? And Samantha replies: I don't think you do know until you meet the right person. Because then you feel something you know you've never felt before.

Jason Lee and Mili Avital have great romantic chemistry, and Jason Lee brings the same intensity to this role that he did in Chasing Amy. There's a terrific romantic soundtrack, and Max sums up the film's philosophy in the final scene, when he paraphrases the famous quote from La Rochefoucald: True love cannot be found where it does not truly exist. Nor can it be hidden where it truly does.

Labels: comedy, romance
Internet Movie Database
Tomatometer (critics=27, viewers=46)

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