Alice Arlen

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Then She Found Me Review


OK
"Don't be glib with me!" declares a character in Helen Hunt's ticking-biological-clock panic comedy Then She Found Me, and it's too bad Hunt didn't take her character's advice in the shaping of the film. For most of its running time, Then She Found Me stays safely within television sitcom glibness, the edges softened and motivations rigged into idiot-box coincidence and artificiality. It's Mad About You with home pregnancy test swabs.

Hunt is April Epner, a 39-year-old schoolteacher, married to Ben (Matthew Broderick), the puffy, neighborhood schlub. April is childless and longs for "a baby that is really hers." Being an adopted daughter in a close-knit Jewish family (she envies Ben Shenkman's Freddy, the biological family brother), she wants the biological connection of a birth child. As the film begins, her mother Trudy (Lynn Cohen) is in the hospital, her father has died, and April's comfortable world is about to explode. Things go awry from the get-go when April, obsessed with getting pregnant, greets Ben at home with a nightie under her coat, eager for a surprise tumble. But Ben tops her by announcing his decision to leave their months old marriage. Things continue falling apart -- April juggling the death of Trudy, having an affair with the embittered, divorced Frank (Colin Firth), and -- to top it all off -- the sudden appearance of April's biological mother, Bernice Graves, a brassy, unpretentious loudmouth and local talk-show hostess, played by Bette Midler (who else?).

Continue reading: Then She Found Me Review

The Weight Of Water Review


Weak
Like Possession, The Weight of Water tries to tie together a period romance and a modern-day one, held together by ancient letters calling out from the past. Like Possession, this fails to work well, as the link between now and then is relatively meaningless.

In the present day, our heroine (the dour Catherine McCormack) asks her brother (Josh Lucas) to sail her to an island off the coast of New Hampshire in order to take pictures of the site of an ancient murder for some photography assignment. Already dubious (I've seen few magazine spreads that feature only grass and rocks), the story gets iffier when her "famous poet" husband (Sean Penn) and bro's girlfriend (Elizabeth Hurley) tag along on the trip.

Continue reading: The Weight Of Water Review

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