Surprisingly, my fears about sitting through Forces of Nature were unfounded and alleviated pretty quickly. Forces of Nature is basically Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, except that John Candy has been replaced with Sandra Bullock, Steve Martin is now Ben Affleck on his way to get married, and instead of hating his travelling companion, Ben is falling in love with her. With a set-up like this, you have to be especially worried, because Hollywood thrives on taking totally unrealistic premises and turning them into trite, sentimental, and naive romantic comedies with unrealistic happy endings. The reason this romantic comedy is pulled off, despite such an unrealistic premise though, is that the plot is actually somewhat darker an more honest than that of you typical popcorn movie. Additionally, the more unrealistic moments are played for laughs and not tears.
Credit the director, relative newcomer Hughes, the writer, and the entire cast, particularly Steve Zahn as the best man, for keeping Forces of Nature from careening into unabashed sentimentalism. It's the best Hollywood text-book romantic comedy I've seen in a while, but with that said, it is still a Hollywood text-book romantic comedy, so while you can expect a few laughs, and a sentimental moment or two, don't expect a life altering experience.
Strangers in the night.
Run time: 105 mins
In Theaters: Friday 19th March 1999
Distributed by: Dreamworks Distribution
Production compaines: DreamWorks SKG, Roth-Arnold Productions
Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 45%
Fresh: 30 Rotten: 36
IMDB: 5.3 / 10
Director: Bronwyn Hughes
Screenwriter: Marc Lawrence
Starring: Sandra Bullock as Sarah Lewis, Ben Affleck as Ben Holmes, Maura Tierney as Bridget Cahill, Steve Zahn as Alan, Blythe Danner as Virginia, Ronny Cox as Hadley, Michael Fairman as Richard Holmes, Richard Schiff as Joe, Athena Maria Bitzis as Juanita the Bull Tamer, Afemo Omilami as Cab Driver, David Strickland as Steve Montgomery, Jack Kehler as Vic DeFranco, Janet Carroll as Barbara Holmes, Meredith Scott Lynn as Debbie, George Wallace as Max