Essentially an opposites-attract story, Bopp follows the lives of wanton vixen Rachel (Andrea Mustain, a Lili Taylor look-alike if ever I've seen one) and buttoned-down architect Ethan (Brad Eric Johnson). That they ever get together in the first place is mystery enough. That they stay together (minus the requisite second act split-up) is a bigger one -- the actors have little chemistry and while the leads both appear to have plenty of acting talent, they just don't quite gel.
Writer/director Christopher Rubeo obviously has passion for his shot-on-video work, but his lead characters are tough to fall in love with. Ethan is a bore. Andrea is a brat (sorry, but sluttiness just doesn't do it for me as a defining character trait). Worst of all are the supporting characters, whose profanity-infused dialogue is usually only interrupted to deliver a rude gesture. It's lazy dialogue that comes off as alternately forced and hammy.
Movies like Ed's Next Move and Kicking And Screaming have shown that indies can take this genre and spin it into something far fresher than big-budget romantic comedies (like the disastrous How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days). Unfortunately, Hale Bopp tries to break away from convention with a couple of personal drama subplots, but when it gets out of the mold it's just depressing. We've seen it all before, only with less abrasiveness.
In Theaters: Sunday 10th August 2003
Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5
IMDB: 6.9 / 10
Director: Christopher Rubeo
Screenwriter: Christopher Rubeo