|Because I Said So (2007)
Starring: Diane Keaton,
Moore, Gabriel Macht, Tom Everett Scott, Lauren Graham, Piper
Perabo, Stephen Collins
Director: Michael Lehmann
Much like the warm puddle of piss that an untrained dog leaves on your brand new carpet, director Michael Lehmann’s latest film, “Because I Said So,” only stinks the more you let it soak in. This horrible mess of a rom-com represents everything that’s wrong with movies these days, from the incredibly formulaic script to the complete lack of control over the film’s A-list leading lady. And to make matters worse, the film has absolutely nothing to offer the male population – unless you count the money shot of co-stars Mandy Moore, Piper Perabo and Lauren Graham in their skivvies – and seems intent on keeping this a female-only event from the get-go. Why else would a film open with a discussion about uncircumcised penises and their apparent resemblance to a “hot dog in a bun” between three daughters and their uptight mother? This is the kind of stuff that only middle-aged woman who still giggle at the mere mention of orgasms find funny, and, well, that’s not exactly saying much, now is it?
For being such a big disaster, the story is quite simple: falling star Diane Keaton plays Daphne Wilder, the aforementioned uptight mother of three who is so out of touch with her own love life that she’s resorted to meddling in the affairs of her youngest daughter Milly (Moore). Playing the role of matchmaker behind her back, Daphne places an ad on the internet in search of a prospective boyfriend, finally settling on a pretentious architect (Tom Everett Scott) as the only man good enough for Milly. Meanwhile, struggling musician Johnny (Gabriel Macht) – who just so happened to witness the horrendous boyfriend auditions – takes matters into his own hands when he begins to court Milly as well, much to the chagrin of Daphne and her devious arrangement.
The choice between the two men may be one of the major storylines powering the film, but the end result is so ridiculously predictable that it doesn’t even feel necessary to go through all the steps to get there. Mandy Moore does the best job she can of making the material even remotely interesting, but she’s brutally overshadowed by her veteran co-star. It’s clear that Diane Keaton is a fan of comedy, but does she really deserve such free reign in a genre that she’s never actually proven herself in? The actress’ over-the-top performance is so annoying that you’ll likely be thanking your lucky stars when her character loses her voice midway through the film. Of course, that only yields even more absurdity, and when Daphne begins scribbling long-winded messages on a pad of paper in less time than humanly possible, you’ll likely lose your mind.
As if that really matters, since you’ll no doubt have already lost your hearing as well. Honestly, sitting through this movie is like standing in the middle of a high school girl’s restroom for two hours. The ensuing sound of the four women fighting isn’t much unlike that of a banshee screaming its highest-pitched shrill, and while my ears never actually began to bleed, they were pretty useless for the rest of the night. How the director and the rest of his crew didn’t acknowledge this issue during filming is beyond me, but perhaps he just threw in the towel after realizing that Keaton was going to do whatever she wanted. Director Michael Lehmann has had quite a rollercoaster of a career. He’s made cult classics like “Heathers” and “Airheads,” run-of-the-mill comedies like “40 Days and 40 Nights” and “The Truth about Cats & Dogs,” and even commercial flops like “Hudson Hawk,” but even the abysmal Billy Crystal comedy, “My Giant,” isn’t nearly as bad as his latest effort. It’s actually embarrassing that I’d stoop so low to make the following statement, but quite frankly, this movie doesn’t deserve any better. Whatever you do, don’t go see this movie. Why? Because I said so.