Friday, January 24, 2014

The Accidental Husband (2008) [PG-13] **

Patrick Sullivan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) is an NYC firefighter who's happily engaged to Sofia (Justina Machado). But then Sofia begins to have doubts; she talks on-the-air to Dr. Emma Lloyd (Uma Thurman) who dispenses relationship advice on her radio talk show REAL Love, and Sofia takes Emma's advice and breaks up with Patrick.

As a way to get some pay back, Patrick encourages Ajay (Jeffrey Tedmori), a neighbor's teenage son, to hack into a state database and fake Patrick's marriage to Emma. And when Emma and her real-life fiance Richard (Colin Firth) apply for a marriage license, they discover that... surprise... she's already married - to Patrick. Emma tracks down Patrick and finds him playing billiards in a bar, confronts him, and believes his lie about the problem being a computer glitch. Increasingly frazzled and distraught, Emma rushes around Manhattan planning her wedding to Richard, while carrying a sheaf of legal documents annulling her marriage to Patrick. As her perfect life begins to come apart, Emma finds herself ignoring her own good relationship advice. She begins to doubt her feelings for Richard and falling for Patrick until she discovers, as she must, that he is responsible for their marriage fraud.

While the production values are good, there is nothing remotely remarkable or original about this romantic comedy. The story arc is simple, plot points are telegraphed well in advance, subplots contribute little to our understanding of the main characters, there's no memorable dialogue, much of the physical humor borders on the slapstick, and there's precious little chemistry between Thurman and Morgan, and virtually none between Thurman and Firth. While several members of the supporting cast give credible performances, especially Sam Shepard, Brooke Adams, Isabella Rossellini and Keir Dullea, the same cannot be said for the three names above the title. Uma Thurman overacts terribly and Colin Firth simply phones in his performance. Only Jeffrey Dean Morgan (P.S. I Love You) gives a believable performance. Unfortunately, the way the screenplay is written, we don't know whether to hope Patrick gets back together with Sofia, or develops an honest, loving relationship with Ella, and so the ending is ultimately a let-down. This is yet another mediocre relationship comedy. It bears some stylistic resemblance to films like Made of HonorThe Proposal and The Ugly Truth, however, only fans of Jeffrey Dean Morgan should bother with this film. 

Labels: comedy, romance    

Internet Movie Database    
Tomatometer (critics=6, viewers=39)

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