In line with the recent and unbelievably profitable string of lame teen films like Save the Last Dance and Dude, Where's My Car?, Head Over Heels is a train wreck of bad lines and predictable plot twists. Fortunately, all the passengers involved are pretty damn attractive, plus it's occasionally funny (even if the laughs come mostly during the movie's most dramatic, heartfelt moments).
The story begins with good-hearted art restorer Amanda (Monica Potter) breaking up with yet another bad boyfriend and moving into a new apartment with a klatch of supermodels. In the apartment across the way, she spies hunky fashion exec Jim Winston (Prinze) who makes her as weak in the knees as paintings by Titian (yes, that is a good thing). And Jim truly is Mr. Perfect: successful, washboard abs, loves babies, coaches Little League, and even has a hint of vulnerability (he's asthmatic -- awww).
Unfortunately, unlucky Amanda -- in her nightly spate of voyeurism -- spies Jim beating a woman to death. Is her dream man a psycho-killer? Monica and her runway crew do some detective work to find out. Of course, this naturally involves some major, slapstick hijinks. According to the film's Web site, the filmmakers were going for a "Hitchcock-style thriller" played "for laughs." [Hitchcock tried this himself with The Trouble with Harry and that was a pretty miserable film, too. -Ed.]
Obviously, the result is nowhere near the first, and only occasionally does it hit the second goal. But, you're more likely to be eliciting groans instead of chuckles, especially with lines like the one Prinze delivers after his first sexual encounter with Amanda that goes something like, "After tonight, I'm joining a new religion - Amandaism. That's me worshipping you." Yep, that Prinze must be a master thespian to keep a straight face while delivering that tripe.
On a positive note, you'll be treated to a decent performance from China Chow as Amanda's sharp-tongued lesbian co-worker, though we don't see nearly enough of her in the film. There are also some shocking non-sequiters thrown into the mix to keep you on your toes. Overall, most of Heels makes Dawson's Creek look like Masterpiece Theater. Judging from the coos and sighs coming from the crowd at this screening (which also screamed and applauded for free Backstreet Boys tickets), that's not likely to matter.
The bunny hop starts here.
Run time: 86 mins
In Theaters: Friday 2nd February 2001
Box Office USA: $9.9M
Box Office Worldwide: $10.4M
Distributed by: Universal Pictures
Production compaines: Universal Studios
Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 10%
Fresh: 9 Rotten: 80
IMDB: 5.3 / 10
Director: Mark S. Waters
Starring: Monica Potter as Amanda Pierce, Freddie Prinze Jr. as Jim Winston, Shalom Harlow as Jade, Ivana Miličević as Roxana, Sarah Murdoch as Candy, Tomiko Fraser as Holly, China Chow as Lisa, Stanley DeSantis as Alfredo, Erin-Marie Dykeman as 10 Year-Old Amanda, James Kirk as Tommy, Elysa Hogg as Tommy's Girlfriend, Kristina Lewis as 17 Year-Old Amanda, Ben Silverman as Charlie, Sam MacMillan as Charlie's Date, Jay Brazeau as Halloran / Strukov