Robert Zemeckis' self-indulgent direction hangs like an albatross around the celluloid neck of "What Lies Beneath," a soft-peddled yuppie horror flick that could have been -- with some fine tuning -- a sharp and genuinely scary thriller.
Forty minutes longer than necessary and featuring a cry-scream-and-run climax so drawn out that every ounce of tension evaporates from the screen half an hour before the credits roll, it's a frustrating movie to watch because of all the wasted potential.
Anything but a standard teens-in-peril slasher movie, "What Lies Beneath" stars Michelle Pfeiffer as a New England mom with empty nest syndrome after packing her daughter off to college in the opening scenes. Now alone in the house a lot, she becomes a busy body, spying on the new next door neighbors and witnessing what she thinks is a murder.
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Making only a minimal effort to be any different or better than the hundreds of other forgettable, predictable, almost-married-the-wrong-guy romantic comedies that have come before it, "Sweet Home Alabama" has the benefit of a talented, appealing cast and the burden of being entirely dependent on clichés to drive its story.
Reese Witherspoon stars as Melanie Carmichael, a rising-star designer in New York's fashion world who is downright giddy about her new engagement to the political mover-and-shaker son (Patrick Dempsey) of the city's image-conscious mayor (Candice Bergen). In the movie's most romantic scene, Mr. Wonderful proposes by getting down on one knee at Tiffany's, which he's arranged to stay open after hours, and telling her to pick any ring she wants.
But there's one little wrinkle Melanie's fiancé doesn't know about: Before she can marry him, she'll have to divorce her hayseed childhood sweetheart back in small-town Alabama. A handsome, blue-eyed charmer named Jake (Josh Lucas, "A Beautiful Mind") with a playful Paul Newman smirk, she did nothing but fight with him once the magic wore off their relationship, so Melanie bailed out to follow her ambition.
Continue reading: Sweet Home Alabama Review
Rising star Charlie Hunnam has made the jump from British television actor to movie star. According to him, it's not because of what he knows, but who he used to know.
Charlie Hunnam, formerly known for 'Queer As Folk' is set to appear in 'Cold Mountain' in December. But according to the actor, it was his ultimately doomed marriage to Katherine Towne which led to him making his way in Hollywood - mainly because her father is an Oscar-winning screenwriter.
The English-born actor divorced from Towne in 2002 after four years of marriage. He admits that being married to the daughter of the 'Chinatown' and 'Mission Impossible' screenwriter was to driving force behind his transformation from Television actor to movie star. Hunnam explained his relationship with Katherine, saying: "We met at an audition for 'Dawson's Creek' and bonded over our mutual distress at being there in the first place."
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