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PCR # 358  (Vol. 8, No. 5)  This edition is for the week of January 29--February 4, 2007.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review
"Because I Said So"

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith
Two stars

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

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"Because I Said So"  by Mike Smith
FX Show 2007 - Quick Report  by Andy Lalino
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Starring: Diane Keaton, Mandy Moore, Gabriel Macht and Stephen Collins
Directed by: Michael Lehman
Rated: PG 13
Running Time: 1 hour 48 mins

Chick Flick: a film that features primarily a young woman and her problems with either her parents or her love life.

If the above definition is correct, then "Because I Said So" is an excellent example because the film features both approved plots. Milly (Moore) is a caterer who seems to always be unlucky in love, a fact she is constantly reminded of. Her two sisters, Maggie and Mae (Lauren Graham and Piper Perabo), are happily married. Their mother, Daphne (Keaton) is approaching 60 and has still bitter over separating with the girls' father when they were children. Not wanting Milly to spend her golden years alone, Daphne places an ad on an internet dating service, hoping to meet the right man to steer towards her daughter. This, of course, has mixed results, as she attracts an assortment of men that you may politely refer to as "strange." While going through the screening process, she meets Johnny, a local musician (Macht, son of one of my favorite underrated actors, Stephen Macht), and explains her plan. Just as all hope is running out, she interviews Jason, a successful architect (Tom Everett Scott), and gives him Milly's contact information. They meet and things seem to go well. Curious as to the situation, Johnny also meets Milly and things go well there also. Milly, of course, is stunned by all of the attention she is getting while Daphne does her best to steer her away from free spirit Johnny. Will Milly be able to choose? And if so, will she choose the right one?

A film that appears to have been made from the parts of other films, "Because I Said So" is a hodge podge of good ideas thrown together quickly in the hopes of making a good film. And, while the cast does a fine job, it is the story that drags the picture down. Keaton's Daphne is almost unsympathetic in her attempts to steer Milly to who she feels is right for her, not recognizing that the wild streak she feels Milly has is a good thing. Spending her evenings alone at home watching the films of Gary Cooper (a true man in her opinion) Daphne soon finds herself falling for Johnny's father (Collins) while still being suspicious of Johnny's "worthiness" for Milly. Can true love win out for Milly or her mother?

If the film has one strength, it's the cast. Keaton does a fine job as the overbearing mother while Moore continues to show the flare for comedy she utilized last year in "American Dreamz." Macht and Scott are quite earnest as the suitors who are unaware of each other while the supporting players do their best to make up for the lack of creativity the film is missing. It's almost as if the screen writers made up a check list: meet cute...check; have the klutzy girl fall a lot...check; bring in the precocious kid...check. There's really every movie cliché here except for having one of the characters announce they are dying (which is surprising since the writers of "Because I Said So" also wrote the emotional wreck that was "Stepmom.")

A film that tries too hard with too little, I give "Because I Said So"  Two stars

This week's movie review of "Because I Said So" is ©2007 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2007, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2007 by Nolan B. Canova.