Love Stinks

"Weak"

Love Stinks Review


The most laughable thing about "Love Stinks" -- a romance- gone- wrong comedy featuring a sitcom writer trying to break up with his deranged girlfriend -- is that nobody in the movie thinks the plot is funny.

When the writer, played by French Stewart of "3rd Rock from the Sun," tries to incorporate the very story you're watching into his show, the other writers shake their heads, the actors protest and the show's ratings take a nose-dive.

So if writer-director Jeff Franklin acknowledges the material isn't funny, what's he doing making this movie?

I've been working on that one for two days now.

Anyway, Stewart stars as a TV writer who meets the girl of his dreams (Bridgette Wilson, "Mortal Kombat") at his best friend's wedding, and early on the romantic comedy is mighty cute as he puts on the full courtin' press. Much to my great relief, the actor isn't a one-trick pony he seems on TV, and sheds his "3rd Rock" schtick, taking on more of a likable, wise-cracking, Billy Crystal-in-"When Harry Met Sally" persona.

Blonde beach babe Wilson is equally charming -- at least at first. But the plot relies on happy-with-bachelorhood Stewart failing to recognize a few tell-tale signs (a stack of bride magazines on her coffee table, for instance) of where his new sweetie thinks their relationship is heading. Before long she's used every sneaky trick in a year's worth of Cosmopolitan magazines to turn decorating his new house for him into a cohabitation marriage trap -- and when he doesn't pop the question on cue, she goes berserk.

In theory, this could be rich comedic material, but "Love Stinks" expects us to sympathize with Stewart when he's too thick to see this fate coming. After months of calculated, but certainly not subtle, feminine manipulation and underhanded relationship games, this guy should have bailed long before finding himself facing the matrimony ultimatum his girlfriend lobs at him.

Almost enjoyable until this twist of fate, the picture suddenly changes tone and takes a failed stab at a low-brow rehash of the ugly divorce dark comedy "War of the Roses." Wilson files a palimony suit, but refuses to move out, and the former couple try to make each other's lives a living hell.

While Stewart's and Wilson's compound insult-sniping is at times magnificently harsh, after "Love Stinks" turns dark, the comedy frequently misfires. In part because the two leads become suddenly and fundamentally unlikable, but also because Franklin hasn't given his characters anything but paint-by-numbers character traits in the first place -- especially the women.

Wilson, who wears so much makeup and so little clothing she might as well be playing a stripper, becomes little more than a harpy. Her best friend, played by model (and definitely not actress) Tyra Banks, comes off looking dim-witted and socially blind for siding with her. Meanwhile Banks' husband (Bill Bellamy), who is Stewart's best friend, tries to talk sense to all parties.

He also narrates (badly), rehashing the horror story of the relationship in flashback to Stewart while they're on a plane headed for Las Vegas, where it seems he's about to marry Wilson after all and Bellamy is trying to talk him out of it.

Although there's a bit of a vengeful comedic payoff in the finale, the last half of the move offers very sparse laughs, most of them coming on the set of Stewart's deliberately lousy, WB-quality sitcom. In a stroke of beautifully ironic cameo casting, the show's stars are Jason Bateman and Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, and it's produced by Warren Littlefield -- all sitcom veterans with some kind of ax to grind against network TV.

But that gag -- really the best the movie has to offer -- is barely enough material for a "Saturday Night Live" skit, and it certainly isn't enough to rescue a whole, sloppy movie that disintegrates as quickly as "Love Stinks" does.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 94 mins

In Theaters: Friday 10th September 1999

Distributed by: Legacy Releasing

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 19%
Fresh: 9 Rotten: 38

IMDB: 5.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Seth Winnick, as Chelsea Turner, as Larry Garnett, as Holly Garnett, Tiffani Thiessen as Rebecca Melini / Juliette, as Monica Harris, John O'Hurley as Walter Drooz

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.