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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 24%
Average: 4%
Pretty Bad: 32%
Total Crap: 4%

1 review, 19 user ratings

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It Had To Be You (1999)
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by Natasha Theobald

"Even charming actors can't make a romantic comedy out of thin air."
2 stars

For all of you "Alias" fans who think you would watch Michael Vartan in anything, let me save you some pain and precious time. Unless, perhaps, you are willing to watch the whole thing with the mute button on, you are likely to be disappointed by this movie. The good news is that it isn't his fault. The bad news is that he is given more quality things to do and say in your average Sunday episode, with about 20 minutes of screen time, than he is given in this whole (was it really less than two hours?) debacle.

Vartan plays Charlie Hudson, a man who is preparing for his wedding to a woman with whom he shares no common interests or goals. He used to be a cop, which mostly made him happy, but, now, for her, he is struggling to be a writer. It's not working out so well. Another thing, she is fierce and tenacious about her career, which means he will have to stay in the city by himself to make plans for their upcoming nuptials.

He arrives at the hotel and meets, wouldn't you know it, a beautiful woman (Natasha Henstridge) on a similar quest with a similarly neglectful fiance. She is put in the room above his. Plop, plop, plop. Those are the water drops that fall on him in the middle of the night. He goes with the hotel staff to find out what has happened. Guess what -- she fell asleep in the tub. Isn't that adorable? They run into each other a couple times more, gaze longingly in each other's directions, blah, blah, blah. So, they decide to tempt fate and themselves by spending more and more time together, as they are both planning weddings and have similar schedules dictated, I believe, by their similar spouse-to-be(s).

Added to this, they both have best friends (Olivia d'Abo and Michael Rispoli) who don't think they should marry the people they plan to marry. In another twist of fate, those two people meet and fall in love in the space of one drunken night. I guess this is for the little girls in the audience who still think a double wedding would be the coolest thing ever. Don't worry, it never gets that far. Both couples resist the urge to be with the one they lust after, at least initially. I won't give away the ending, but you can bet both pairs of best friends will be there.

There also is a too dramatic for a romantic comedy, therefore woefully out of place, subplot about how Charlie lost a jumper in his last days as a cop. I won't give away the ending, but wouldn't it be neat if Charlie could redeem himself?

The problems with plot contrivances are only part of this script's flaws. The movie was written and directed by Steven Feder, who might have benefited from another editorial voice somewhere in the process. The actors are lovely, though maybe a bit mismatched, but they are expected to say things that no actor could make sound or seem natural. Added to that, they all talk in exactly the same way. No character is distinguished from the others in what they say or how they say it. All of the characters think they are clever and amusing, too, and mostly they are completely mistaken.

I'm giving it two stars, one because it's the minimum, the second as a gift for interesting casting. It was particularly refreshing to see Michael Rispoli in a semi-romantic role. Other than that, it's probably best to keep your Sunday night date with Michael Vartan instead of rushing to rent this DVD.

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originally posted: 12/30/02 14:50:04
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User Comments

12/08/08 Tim michael and natasha look great. Rest everything couldn't be worse than that. 3 stars only f 3 stars
9/07/06 Pam I wanted to like it but it was totally contrived. 2 stars
11/30/05 Teresa Good 4 stars
11/24/05 sadie reveron i love it,i would like to have the songs on there 5 stars
7/25/05 Sarah i gotta dissagree.. but i love a love story! the more unrealistic the better! =) 4 stars
11/04/04 Morton I loved this movie...but I really want the songs and singers in this movie 5 stars
2/26/04 Clara Rhodes Loved it! It's just sweet, heartwarming... 5 stars
2/26/04 Jack Will get your girl to consider saying yes--- 5 stars
1/25/04 Megan It was sooo cute and Michael Vartan was sooooo fine 5 stars
1/06/04 Michael Great 5 stars
9/04/03 Yolanda Bienemy loved the movie and songs sung in the movie 4 stars
7/05/03 Jenna Liked the movie, it always makes me think twice!! 4 stars
6/09/03 quincy peterman great looking natasha only saving grace 2 stars
5/26/03 Tony Tondeur Anyone know of the soundtrack from this film 5 stars
2/19/03 Michelle Great! 5 stars
2/16/03 Siryn I loved it 4 stars
2/09/03 Maria It was an enjoyable chick flick 5 stars
1/06/03 George Penn Very refreshing. No violence, no cursing, no sex, just fun and light entertainment 4 stars
1/25/99 Dark Horizons Okay this has to be one of the worst films I have seen in along time 1 stars
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  02-Jul-1999 (PG)



Directed by
  Steven Feder

Written by
  Steven Feder

  Olivia d'Abo

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