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I Could Never Be Your Woman (DVD)
Member Name: JayHall1991
I Could Never Be Your Woman (DVD)
Advantages: Witty, great Screenplay, Great Acting, Moving
Disadvantages: Some Of The Insider Jokes Seem A Little Stale
I Could Never Be your Woman is a surprisingly witty, intelligent and endearing romantic comedy which treads the line between sweet and saccharine very ably and employs a great cast and deceptively sharp screenplay to enhance the humour and drama of it all. It takes an interesting premise and fleshes it out with nicely drawn characters and some fun plot twists, whilst taking a few great pot-shots at the entertainment industry and societies view of ageing. Some of it feels a little tired (the "insider" jokes surrounding the making of a television show cover very old ground and can't help but feel a little forced) but the romantic elements feel fresh and feisty whilst the scripts sardonic edge keeps things from falling into routine cliché. It's not the most charming entry in the crowded genre; but it's a professional, glossy, hilarious, and above all, intelligent look at love in the time of celebrity culture.
The script is most successful when it is toying with the idea of fading youth and examining the very real personal cost associated with the war on wrinkles. This relevant topic allows Amy Heckerling to explore drama and comedy; cueing some fine slapstick and some even better heart-to-hearts. As Rosie's teenage daughter screams "I'm not like you, I'm not beautiful, I'm just a fat pig" at her svelte mother it is genuinely heart-wrenching and allows some great performances to emerge. The conflict between the superficial and the real is extremely important throughout and it forms the beating heart of the story, making the whole thing much more moving and engaging. It puts forward the polemic that there are consequences attached to our "looks are all that matter" culture and it fights its case unusually eloquently for the genre. In the end comedy outweighs the drama and most of the film is genuinely funny - with some belly-laugh-worthy physical hyjinx as well as some bone dry, acidic dialogue. The whole thing is infused with an uncharacteristic lightness of touch and a wicked sense of humour. The whole cast delivers their lines with comedic flair and there is an abundance of comedy set-pieces.
Despite the fact that it occasionally slips into silly territory (Paul Rudd's frantic, crazed dancing elicits only a guilty chuckle) nothing outweighs the fact that Heckerling has some genuinely interesting things to say and writes with a very pleasing comedic grace. The characters have dysfunctions which are mined for laughter gold and the age-gap between the romantic leads is dealt with in a far funnier way than recent films which have tackled the subject (see the fairly dreadful Prime with Uma Thurman).
Heckerling also does a great job of directing; making the flick stylish as well as substantial and entertaining. She brings some sparkle to the comedic sequences that shouldn't be that funny and, despite the Hollywood setting, makes the characters and the romance feel earthy and realistic. The film never outstays its welcome thanks to some very accurate pacing and a few nice visual touches. Some of her direction feels a little heavy handed at times - when she goes back over Clueless territory she seems to try a little too hard to gain laughs and doesn't capture the zestiness that made the 90s flick such undeniable fun. The central romance almost takes a side-line to the main plot, but there is definitely a fun dynamic between the two lead characters and their romance is absorbing and touching, with many scenes that are charming and touching. The directing doesn't fall into the usual rom-com traditions and the story builds up to a refreshingly hopeful but realistic and moving finale which caps things off very nicely. Heckerling manages to weave in a rousing message about being yourself and learning to love your flaws without coming across as preachy or irritating and refuses to spoon-feed the audience, leaving many questions up in the air and never once suggesting that she has all of the answers.
Michelle Pfeiffer looks stunning throughout I Could Never Be your Woman and she really brings the film together - putting in a gentle, funny, warm and clever performance as Rosie, a woman desperately trying to hold onto the life she once knew whilst the world changes around her. She is extremely believable and puts in a completely three dimensional performance - she breathes life into Rosie and fills most of her sequences with style and grace. She is perfect in the more dramatic sequences - really making her characters journey poignant and creating a nice chemistry with Saoirse Ronan her on-screen daughter. She is funny and confident and adds a really witty edge to the film - her screen-time with Rudd is always fresh and engaging and she obviously enjoys the fast-paced dialogue and plays around with the sharper edges of the screenplay. Her presence brings some credibility to the proceedings and she is a really professional and engaging element to the whole thing.
Paul Rudd is predictably funny and engaging throughout; displaying his unique mix of juvenile slap-stick and sophisticated delivery he makes his ever-so-slightly annoying character seem interesting and engaging. He is a capable romantic lead, forming a nice connection with Pfeiffer, and one of the most comedic forces within the flick. However, it is the dry-as-a-bone Tracy Ulman who really sparkles throughout - she is absolutely hilarious, sardonic, acerbic and endlessly witty as Rosie's 'evil guardian angel'. She starts the film off with hilarious observations on the human race and remains the wicked beating heart throughout. She is successful in making her imaginary character charming as well as completely obnoxious and witty.
Overall I Could Never BE Your Woman is a witty, clever and hugely enjoyable entry into the never-ending rom-com genre; it has much more to offer than the norm with its graceful screenplay and power-house performances and it deals with genuinely moving issues sensitively and with a great deal of warmth and humour. It was only released on DVD (I can't even imagine why) but it is definitely one of the best romantic comedies of recent times. With a touching message about finding yourself in a world that tries to tell you to be something different and a few huge laughs it is definitely worthy a rental..
Summary: A Fun and Funny Rom-Com