Bounce Movie Review

Great. Here I am, writing a review of yet another cheesy, clichéd, Ben Affleck romantic comedy in which I will probably be flamed by Affleck fans, Paltrow fans, romantics, teens, and widows. Yeah... widows. Why? Because Bounce is the latest in a string of contrived romantic comedies to feature a man falling for a widow whom he helped to make a widow.

Yeah... it's our old friends Bob and Harvey Weinstein, and this time they're capitalizing on plane crashes, public relations companies, alcoholics, and stalkers all in the same wicked stroke. Here we have Buddy Amaral (Affleck), just a good-old sweet talking ad rep who happens to give a free first class plane ticket to a guy named Greg (Tony Goldwyn) in order to sleep with Mimi (Natasha Henstridge... really, who wouldn't go for that)? Of course, the plane crashes, and, wouldn't you know it, he happens to rep the airlines. So he does what any person would: He drinks.

Cut to a year later, and Buddy's out of rehab and decides to take Step 8 (Contact those you have wronged and make amends) a little too seriously, and he begins following the widowed Abby (Gwyneth Paltrow), the former wife of Greg. Finding out that she's a realtor, he fixes it so he rips his own business off to the tune of $100,000, making herself a double commission to boot. Grateful as she is, she buys a couple of Dodgers tickets and the two head down the eventless path towards true bliss.

If this plot thrills you, or makes you coo, "Ah, how sweet," then please go see Bounce. Now. I'm sure you'll enjoy the paint-by-numbers romance. But let's face it, this is not exactly a great flick. In fact, it's downright terrible. In fact, the idea of being romanced by an alcoholic stalker named Buddy is a little more Silence of the Lambs than Sliding Doors. Writer-director Don Roos's last project, The Opposite of Sex, was one of the most honest films about homosexual stereotypes in recent years. And I'll give him the benefit of the doubt that he was trying to address issues of honesty and grieving, but this time he crashes and burns like the plush 747 O'Hare red-eye that makes a fiery farewell.

The performances are weak, the script couldn't hold up a toddler, and the emotional value is slightly above that of a couple of Valium. Sorry, Gwen and Ben, but even that oh-so-cute non-romance we read about at checkout lines daily can't salvage this wreck.

Sadly, the DVD release of Bounce does little to elevate above its one-note premise (yes, it's still scene after scene with us wondering if Ben will tell Gwyneth what he did) and makes you wonder how the director of The Opposite of Sex came up with this (turns out he wrote it in four weeks). I also never would have imagined this film needed a two-disc DVD set to tell its story, but here it is, larger than life and twice as boring. Among the copious extras are a full length commentary track from Roos and a co-producer, deleted scenes that feel endlessly repetitive, a "gag reel" where Affleck shows off his potty mouth, and a mini-commentary track from Roos, Paltrow, and Affleck. All of this is pretty forgettable unless you want to here Ben say the word "cornholing."

Bouncing baby.


Bounce Rating

" Terrible "

Rating: PG-13, 2000


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