For befuddled twentysomethings Oliver (Ashton Kutcher) and Emily (Amanda Peet), first sight takes place in an airport terminal as they prepare to board a flight from Los Angeles to New York City. During the flight, Emily, who has not said a word previously to Oliver, impulsively joins him in the airplane lavatory for some mile-high action. Once the plane lands, they part ways -- Oliver is going to visit his brother; Emily's headed to see her family. But as luck would have it, the very next day they run into each other on the streets of New York! I guess the Big Apple isn't so big after all.
Oliver and Emily spend a leisurely day together roaming the city, goofing around with his camera, and reflecting on their very different lives. Oliver tells Emily about his six-year plan to get his "ducks in a line." Within that time, he intends to have a successful job, own a house, and be ready to marry a beautiful wife. When Emily scoffs at what she sees as an overly ambitious plan, Oliver gives Emily his phone number and tells her to call him in six years so he can prove her wrong.
Those six years crawl by at a snail's pace because the story stops every two or three years so the two can reconnect. It would be an interesting concept if only Oliver and Emily actually had something interesting to talk about. Three years after their initial meeting, a desperate Emily asks Oliver to be her date at a New Year's party. The only conversation Emily can muster is how distressed she is over a recent break-up. When they meet again two years later, a heart-broken Oliver has just been dumped by his live-in girlfriend. Are we really supposed to feel sorry for these pathetic souls?
If so, we're never given a reason to care. When they're not whining about their break-ups, they're making silly faces at each other, or engaging in childish pissing contests. A scene inside a Japanese restaurant is particularly painful to watch. Logically, it would seem that Oliver and Emily would grow as adults over the six-year time span, but they never do! (Contrast: Serendipity.) They continue to stumble around each other like grade school kids with first crushes. Any meaningful conversations or actions are thrown out in favor of plain goofiness.
I'm not saying relationships can't be goofy. One of last year's best films, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, is built upon a quirky romance, but it also has something significant to say. Love fails on all levels: The comedy is juvenile and the romance is, well, non-existent. Kutcher and Peet certainly appear to be having a great time making this film, but their lack of chemistry dooms it from the beginning.
Apparently "love hurts" is the more appropriate adage here.
The DVD includes a gag reel, deleted scenes, commentary track, and a music video.
But more like hate.
Run time: 107 mins
In Theaters: Friday 22nd April 2005
Box Office USA: $21.8M
Box Office Worldwide: $42.9M
Distributed by: Touchstone Pictures
Production compaines: Mile High Productions, Kevin Messick Productions
Contactmusic.com: 1 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 41%
Fresh: 50 Rotten: 72
IMDB: 6.6 / 10
Director: Nigel Cole
Producer: Kevin J. Messick, Suzann Ellis
Screenwriter: Colin Patrick Lynch
Starring: Ashton Kutcher as Oliver Martin, Amanda Peet as Emily Friehl, Aimee Garcia as Nicole, Taryn Manning as Ellen Martin, Ali Larter as Gina, Kathryn Hahn as Michelle, Kal Penn as Jeeter, Gabriel Mann as Peter, Jeremy Sisto as Ben Miller, Moon Bloodgood as Bridget, Holmes Osborne as Stephen Martin, Lee Garlington as Stewardess, Sarah Ann Morris as Bartender