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When in Rome Review


Grim
Despite its over-the-top zaniness, this romantic comedy manages to keep us entertained with its starry cast and a nutty plot. If only the filmmakers had resisted the urge to exaggerate both the humour and the sentimentality.

Guggenheim curator Beth (Bell) is organising an important museum event when she has to dash to Rome for her sister's sudden wedding, where she begins to fall for best man Nick (Duhamel), who rescues her from a few embarrassing moments but lets her down romantically. In a funk, she swipes some coins from a fountain then ends up being stalked back in New York by the lovelorn guys (painter Arnett, wannabe model Shepard, street magician Heder and art patron DeVito) who threw them into the water.

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Old Dogs Review


Unbearable
To call this comedy a disaster is an understatement. It's aggressively awful, and manages to push its worst gags so numbingly off the scale that we're left slack-jawed in disbelief. Amazingly, the cast members just about get out alive.

Charlie and Dan (Travolta and Williams) are old pals and partners as sports publicists. Charlie is a relentless bachelor, teasing Dan about his impulsive, brief Vegas marriage to Vicki (Preston) eight years earlier. What neither of them knows is that Vicki gave birth to Dan's twins (Ella Bleu Travolta and Rayburn), and now she needs him to watch them for two weeks. Nutty antics ensue as these cute kids upset these men's life, dragging them off for a weekend camping trip and of course slowly winning them over in the process.

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The Tenants Review


Weak
On the list of actors that your average casting director is going to look at when casting struggling writers, it's a certainty that Snoop Dogg is nowhere close to being on it. And yet the filmmakers behind The Tenants, a dour and messy piece of work about dueling novelists inhabiting the same Brooklyn tenement in 1972, went ahead and did just that; and were justly rewarded for taking their risk. Snoop more than rises to the task, he fairly walks away with the movie - unfortunately, he doesn't leave enough behind for anybody else to work with.

Danny Green's film of the Bernard Malamud novel starts off with Henry Lesser (Dylan McDermott hidden behind decade-appropriately unfortunate facial hair and hideous eyewear), a writer of the most masochistic sort. The only resident left in a deserted, falling-down building in a seedy corner of Brooklyn, he's hacking away at his typewriter, day after day, trying to finish his third novel; the first one was well received, the second not so much. Occasionally the landlord (Seymour Cassel) comes by to bang at the door and offer him increasingly large sums of money to get out so he can sell the place, but Henry, a creature of habit, keeps begging for more time, saying he'll move after he finishes the novel.

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The Family Man Review


Good
Just in time for Christmas comes a story worthy of both Ebenezer and Jimmy Stewart, with Wild at Heart's Nicholas Cage cast in the role of the out of touch rich guy. Jack Campbell (Cage) is not a bad man. He's not even a callous man. He's just a regular guy who happens to believe that millions of dollars, a beautiful blonde lover, and a Ferrari in the garage are ample compensation for whatever he may be missing in the way of mediocre suburban living.

But when this good-natured Wall Street mega-titan puts his life on the line to save a convenience store from a firefight, he makes a big mistake. Because that kid with the pistol (Don Cheadle) is no ordinary hoodlum -- he's some kind of wacky angel or ghost-of-Christmas-in-a-parallel-universe or something. And little does Jack know, as he lay himself down to sleep on Christmas Eve, that he'll wake the next morning to the life he could've had if only he'd married his college girlfriend (Téa Leoni, Deep Impact) instead of following his ambition to become one of the world's richest, most powerful men.

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Below Utopia Review


Weak
Unlikely thriller has Alyssa Milano + boyfriend fighting off a gang of house burglars. Twist ending tries to redeem 90 minutes of inanity, with middling success.

Evolution Review


Grim
Here's my candidate for most creative casting of 2001....

In Evolution, you get David Duchovny, (former) star of TV's The X-Files who has failed miserably to cross over to any kind of success in film. Julianne Moore, former independent darling before she started making movies like The Lost World and Hannibal. Orlando Jones, 7-Up pitchman and easily typecast goofball. And Seann William Scott, whose most visible role was as a stoner in Dude, Where's My Car?

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