Now I am not trying to throw shade; first and foremost I love that this movie is starring a mammoth collection of talented female actors. Everyone knows that Sandra Bullock is one of my fave actresses ever, and I could probably watch her just having breakfast in the morning in her house, such is her gravitas (might be a bit creepy though) But boy, did Gary Ross waste her gold.
I’m not saying that this film was shit. It was watchable. It was fluff – but the overwhelming feeling I had after leaving the cinema was disappointment.
A few reasons made this film sub par:
- It was slow. Too much exposition in the beginning and lots of shots of Sandra and Cate eating in cafes giving each other knowing looks. We didn’t need that much explaining; this film isn’t inception.
- There was a distinct lack of chemistry between the characters. I didn’t believe Cate Blanchett as her best friend. Like, at all. It was all cliché one liners and way way too much eye liner on Blanchett, who, walking around in expensive leather jackets and boots, we are supposed to believe needs to cut down the pennies by cutting her water with vodka. I have a confession though, I am not really a fan of Cate. She is what I call, a functional actress © LaylaM. That’s right, I have coined this term. Let me explain what I mean by this. Cate gets us from A – B, she can convey the emotions of a character, but somehow I am always aware she is acting, and I never feel anything afterwards with her performances. Something which I think is so important in film making. I want to *feel* something. Whether that is joy, hilarity, sadness, anger, confusion even etc. Sandra on the other hand, made me cry in the Proposal, and that film was a comedy. (She made me laugh too.)
- Lack of characterisation. I mean this always happens in an ensemble cast; you are trying to give everyone equal airtime but because of that, development goes by the wayside. Sandra is working very hard to give us some character depth, and only her and Helena gave us the insight that their characters were more than 1 dimensional. I do appreciate that this is difficult considering the running time and size of cast, but it’s still unfortunate.
- It wasn’t funny!! WHERE was the comedy. They completely wasted Bullock, who as we all know has amazing comedy acting chops. This is down to the writing of course. Big shame tho; think of Sandra in ‘The Heat’ with Melissa McCarthy – that was funny and their chemistry popped. Or the aforementioned ‘The Proposal’ None of the script was giving these women a chance to shine.
A few other observations – If I had been Mindy Kaling I would have been disappointed because she has about 3 lines. I mean, what was that about. Rihanna was a complete stereotype with the dreadlocks and the minority ‘attitude’ and smoking weed, this didn’t add anything.
Awkwafina had the potential to be funny, but again wasn’t given the material.
Sarah Paulson, who I normally love, was equally underused but also dare I say, irritating in this? I didn’t really get the point of her character – a soccer mom with kleptomania and a hoarding disorder joins them to.. I have forgotten their roles already.
The stand outs were Helena Bonham carter whose character actually had a bit depth and a good accent to boot and Anne Hathaway – although again I think she could have been so much more wicked and funny. Whoever wrote her character could have made her more of a diva and really gone to town.
I also think I am totally immune to what everyone sees in James Corden. His cameo was so pointless, he leaves me cold. The jammy bastard – he’s managed to infiltrate America and my theory is audiences there don’t know how crap he is because the accent throws them off. It’s like a cloak of invisibility.
This sounds like a scathing review but I think maybe I hold these women to a higher standard because I expect more and I expected more from the film as a whole. They are all good actors though and I feel the lack was in the script, which is so often the way.
Imagine if someone like Nora Ephron had written this – what a master class she was in screenplay writing.
Sandra, I still love you.
My rating: 3/5