Head Over Heels
review by Dan Lybarger, 9 February
Over Heels is billed as a comedy, but it plays more like a
Frankenstein monster. Assembled from together with clichťs from
several different genres, the movie lumbers along clumsily as if its
legs were never meant to walk together. It took four credited
writers (John J. Strauss, Ed Decter, David Kidd and Ron Burch) to
try to glue all of this together, and their work doesnít gel.
Anemic hints of macabre, gross-out humor, corny double entendres
and mawkish romanticism fall together as unnaturally and
unconvincingly as the two leads.
Monica Potter (Patch
Adams) stars as Amanda Pierce, an art restorer who throws
herself into her work as an art restorer because her love life has
been so disappointing. Men have dumped her or cheated on her with
impunity. When her latest beau is found beneath another woman, she
tries to find another place to live. The one place that is in her
price range is a closet in expensive loft inhabited by four models:
Jade (Shalom Harlow), Roxana Ivana Milicevic, Candi (Sarah O'Hare)
and Holly Tomiko Fraser).
This setup is the first of several
mistakes. Potter is simply too attractive to pass for a plain Jane.
The only difference between her and her roommates is that she
isnít greedy or lobotomized. Even in her painting smocks, she
looks so comely that when her roommates "dress her for
success," the audience canít tell the difference. In
addition, the quartet has one-note characters that arenít
particularly amusing. Candi, a backward Australian who fits every
stereotype about blondes, has an incestuous personal history that is
mistakenly played for laughs. Director Mark S. Waters, who also
tried this angle in The House
of Yes, may want to consider expanding his repertoire.
The center of the film is supposed
to the relationship between Amanda and a young, wealthy fashion
executive named Jim Winston (Freddie Prinze, Jr.). Like his
predecessors, Winston seems ideal when introduced (except for his
ferocious Great Dane). Her perceptions change when she believes that
she witnesses him murdering a young woman. Waters handles the shift
in moods awkwardly, and Prinze (like Harrison Ford in What
Lies Beneath) is not up to the challenge. With his puppy-dog
eyes and earnest demeanor, itís easy to see why heís become a
heartthrob. Nonetheless, he doesnít demonstrate the range
necessary to convince in this sort of role. The interaction between
him and Potter isnít terribly engaging or well thought out, so
never once does a viewer get a sense they belong together.
Waters attempts to match the
Farrelly brothers in a series of lame body functions jokes.
Unfortunately, he lacks the siblingsí creativity. They have a
knack for finding the dark side of using dental floss or hair gel,
whereas Waters assumes that the sight of four women being sprayed by
feces is amusing in itself. The director also attempts to stage some
pratfalls, but he has no ideal how to shot or edit them (can you
spot the stunt double?). The actors also have little idea how to
Just like an unholy creature put
together from the dead, Head
Over Heels threatens to fall apart in motion and lives up to its
Mark S. Waters
Freddie Prinze Jr.
PG-13 - Parents
Some material ma
be inappropriate for
children under 13