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Overall Rating
1.49

Awesome: 0%
Worth A Look: 1.82%
Average: 3.64%
Pretty Bad: 36.36%
Total Crap58.18%

6 reviews, 19 user ratings


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Because I Said So
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by Todd LaPlace

"“Because”? Why?"
2 stars

“Because I Said So” is not so much a bad movie as it is an unnecessary one. This is complete paint-by-numbers filmmaking. The nicest thing I can say about it is that it was watchable, which should not be confused with saying it’s the least bit enjoyable. Any humorous bits are already in the trailer, as is the film’s entire plot (including the icky potential for a kind of incest). It’s not bad, it’s just bland. But my mom sure liked it.

Ideally, I’d like you to read this entire review, because I obviously spent quite a bit of my valuable time carefully crafting it, but just this one, I’ll indulge those in a hurry. Without further ado, here is the condensed version of my review of the new romantic comedy “Because I Said So”: Director Michael Lehmann also directed “My Giant,” that movie about Billy Crystal and that really tall Eastern European basketball player. ’Nuff said.

Granted, he is also the man behind the darkly delicious “Heathers,” as well as episodes of cult TV favs “Wonderfalls” and “Big Love,” but unfortunately, he’s also released “Airheads,” “40 Days and 40 Nights” and “Hudson Hawk” on us, and has therefore negated any good will his other projects have earned him. Plus, did I mention that he directed “My Giant”?

Despite the really low lows on his record, I was surprised to see critics trash “Because I Said So” as the worst of the bunch. In his review, “Wall Street Journal” critic Joe Morgenstern calls it “unusually toxic waste,” which is admittedly a little extreme. In no way do I think the movie was “toxic to mental health,” as I’m fairly certain my brain cells were not harmed in the watching of this film. They were too busy napping. I can respect a director that takes a shot at something great and fails, but Lehmann has turned into nothing more than a cookie cutter hack. Feel free to stop reading the synopsis the second you know where this schlock is headed.

More than a little overbearing, Daphne (Diane Keaton) is a divorced mother of three, approaching sixty and certifiably crazy. She’s managed to marry off older daughters Maggie and Mae (the wasted Lauren Graham and Piper Perabo, respectively), so she has her sights set on Milly (Mandy Moore), a successful caterer with a dismal track record with men. When years of nagging fail to produce results, Daphne does the next logical thing; she takes out a personal ad for her daughter. What follows is the requisite montage of horrific candidates until yuppie architect Jason (Tom Everett Scott) charms the mother with his uppity taste and sleep-inducing personality. Playing in a band in the same restaurant, Johnny (Gabriel Macht) decides he is also interested in checking out Milly, although his rebel style and hand tattoo do little to win over Daphne. So in no time at all, Milly’s prospects go from zero to two, and she decides to date both until she figures out which one is her true soulmate.

If you made it all the way through that paragraph, congratulations, you’re a naïve little fawn who was obviously raised by some type of nurturing forest creature far from the wonders of the Cineplex. If you stopped at any point, congratulations, you’re not a complete idiot. And if you stopped at any point and questioned in what reality such behavior would not only be seen as rational by the mother, but by a whole series of men, congratulations, you not only saved yourself $8, but a massive headache too.

Perhaps the most egregious sin, however, is that Lehmann wasted so much talent on something so undeniably moronic. Keaton — who you may remember from such film series as “The Godfather” — has slowly gone from A-list to embarrassment. I’m sure she still has all the talent that made films like “Annie Hall” and “Manhattan” so successful, but it’s hard to notice as she’s physically fighting with her car’s navigational system or her computer that happens to always get stuck on Internet porn. That’s right, she actually has a scene filled with a dog humping an ottoman, lots of excessive moaning and disturbingly, the sound of a goat (I’m not even going to touch that one). Isn’t that enough to rescind her Oscar?

Moore, on the other hand, seems tailor made for this type of gooey garbage. After all, she was the fourth teeny-bopper girl to hit the pop charts, which should mean her short lived 15 minutes were up years ago. Honestly, “Candy” might be one of the most obnoxious songs ever released. But no matter how bad her music might have been, Moore has actually turned her talent into a very successful movie career (ignoring teenage indiscretions like “Chasing Liberty” and “How to Deal”), but not even her comedic talent can save the movie from Johnny’s unfortunate child and his constant reminders that he has a penis and that the girls all have vaginas (which was totally stolen from “Kindergarten Cop”). Kudos to her for committing, but when writers Karen Leigh Hopkins and Jessie Nelson are cribbing from old Arnold Schwarzenegger movies, there’s little anyone can do.

But even with as talented an actress as I think Moore is, I can’t help but wonder, what’s up with all the singing? In “A Walk to Remember,” Moore shuts down the movie midway through to sing “Only Hope” for the school play. In “Saved!,” Moore sings lead in the Christian Jewels, a Christian trio at her Christian high school. There’s even a completely random scene in “The Princess Diaries” that has Moore singing “Stupid Cupid” for absolutely no reason whatsoever. Wanna take a guess as to whether she sings in “American Dreamz,” a satire of, among other things, reality TV smash “American Idol”? In “Because I Said So,” Moore is even forced to recruit backup by dragging the entire female cast into a pair of dismal, hokey performances (although Perabo doesn’t do much, which is odd since she got her big break playing a singer/songwriter in “Coyote Ugly”). I cringe still at the memories. A few weeks ago, Moore told “The New York Daily News” that she felt “bad that people wasted their money on such trite, blah pop music,” and I would like to thank her for taking the time to make the gesture about her own music, even if it is eight years late. I guess now we just have to wait until 2015 for an apology for “Because I Said So.” Mandy, can I make a request? Could you please put my copy in writing? On nice paper? Suitable for framing? Or else could you please stop making such boring movies that you’ll eventually have to apologize for? Your choice.

Please, just take my advice; don’t see this movie. Do you really need any more reasons? Because I…well, you know the rest.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=15587&reviewer=401
originally posted: 02/09/07 08:22:07
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User Comments

8/29/12 Mireya I thought it was a cute movie 4 stars
1/09/09 Samantha Pruitt Mandy is dreadful, tries way to hard to be sweet! 2 stars
11/18/08 PAUL SHORTT TREATS WOMEN LIKE IDIOTS AND MEN LIKE INFLATABLE SEX TOYS 1 stars
8/28/08 Shaun Wallner Boring not worth it! 1 stars
8/05/08 Braniff I walked out of this piece of bullcrap. Enough said. 1 stars
1/06/08 jessica I wasn't kidding about this -- WORST MOVIE I'VE EVER SEEN... 1 stars
1/02/08 jessica Worst movie I've ever seen. I want those 90 minutes of my life back. 1 stars
7/11/07 Bidget I felt ill. And the guys weren't even hot. 1 stars
6/18/07 me i liked it. thanks. 3 stars
6/15/07 William Goss One of the most severely grating and banal rom-coms known to man. 1 stars
5/31/07 Jeff Anderson As bad, unbearable & unfunny as a film can get made worse by Keaton's sick performance. 1 stars
5/17/07 ES Amazing nap 1 stars
5/11/07 Sarah It made me want to puke. Especially after seeing Keaton f##k reverend Camden. ewwww. 1 stars
3/03/07 David Pollastrini Mandy Moore is hot! 2 stars
2/28/07 Brian Lower than a whale's asshole! 1 stars
2/14/07 azizbek olimov Even Piper Perabo in a thong couldn't save this... 3 stars
2/10/07 Heather Pretty boring, and I'm easily entertained. 1 stars
2/06/07 Shobert Even Piper Perabo in a thong couldn't save this... 1 stars
2/03/07 Todd That sucked donkey balls. 1 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  02-Feb-2007 (PG-13)
  DVD: 08-May-2007

UK
  16-Feb-2007 (12)
  DVD: 04-Jun-2007

Australia
  03-May-2007 (M)




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