certainly enough talent attached to this project; John Cusack, Julia
Roberts, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Billy Crystal and a strong supporting cast
and crew. So why is America's Sweethearts such a lifeless mess?
This movie is about a weekend press junket for a bad film in which the two
biggest stars in the movies have to be civil to
each other. The problem is they are getting a divorce.
The whole press
junket idea is an unfortunate one for Roberts. Watching it, you remember
how much more interesting the very similar five minute press junket scene
she did in Notting Hill was. Then you start comparing this movie
to that one, and that contrast does America's Sweethearts no
You never really buy Roberts' character Kiki.
She needs to do more
than wear a fat suit in some flashback scenes for us to believe that she is
supposed to be a shy wallflower with self-esteem problems — or someone
whose movie star sister can take total advantage of.
Cusack, who can be
such a good actor, gives in to all of his worst habits, ratcheting up his
normal schtick to annoying levels. This not only betrays Cusack's
performance, but it also is completely out of step with the man his
character would be.
Billy Crystal gamely tries
to play his character as a heartless Hollywood type, but of course, being
Billy Crystal he has to pull his punches and eventually turns out to really
be a nice guy.
is the only one who actually creates a character, she may be a spoiled,
pampered bitch, but she has fire, she has passion, if only for herself.
amazing supporting cast, including Hank Azaria, Stanley Tucci, Seth Green
and Christopher Walken get stuck playing
either totally clichéd characters or absurd ciphers.
In particular, Walken's hippie director is just preposterous and his
"surprise ending" is too ridiculous for words. It could have never, ever
I had realized how little the people onscreen mattered to me much
earlier, though, when in the triumphant scene where Cusack and Roberts
finally give in to years of unrealized passion. I was so uninterested with
this transparent plot point that the only thing I could find to latch onto
in the scene to in any way intrigue me was that I never realized John Cusack
had so much chest hair. (7/01)
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August 26, 2021.