Forces of Nature Movie Review

Any time you go to see a romantic comedy with big budget stars and a promo tagline like, "He went from the eye of the storm into the arms of a hurricane," you have to be a little scared. After all, for every When Harry Met Sally..., there are a dozen While You Were Sleeping's, and the worst part is that the bad ones always seem to make more money.

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.

Comments

Forces of Nature Rating

" Good "

Rating: PG-13, 1999

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