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Overall Rating

Awesome: 11.9%
Worth A Look: 21.43%
Pretty Bad: 19.05%
Total Crap: 10.71%

6 reviews, 48 user ratings

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America's Sweethearts
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by Greg Muskewitz

"A Hollywood version of a self-parody."
3 stars

America’s Sweethearts = temporary amusement. At first that was only a reminder I had written to myself before going to sleep that night following the screening. But that’s what America’s Sweetheart is despite how much you do or don’t like it.

Taking place over one weekend is a three-ring circus for a press junket of a movie that’s first screening will be while the press watches, and before the studio can cut it to pieces. More importantly, the always-paired stars and former lovers (John Cusack and Catherine Zeta-Jones) will be reunited for the weekend after their broken-up marriage, even though they haven’t seen each other for a year. Given a chaotic situation, and you will receive a zany product. Despite the higher billing of Julia Roberts (as Zeta-Jones’ personal assistant and sister) and Billy Crystal as a press agent, the events are actually revolving around Cusack and Zeta-Jones. As a three-ring circus, Cusack, Zeta-Jones and Roberts are each allotted one ring, and the absurdness of each one — whose can get the most out of hand — increases from low to high in the aforementioned order. Hollywood and the entertainment industry loves poking fun at itself, and the territory of press junkets (explained in the movie for those who don’t know what they are) is ripe material. But writers Peter Tolan and Crystal aim and engineer farce over satire, which is a mistake. There are plenty of funny or noticeable “in” gags for those journalists who know who’s supposed to be what, but Tolan and Crystal left so much untouched, and went too long without improving what was already laid out. Too much time was spent in the plodding orchestration of giving the stars a history, trying to get them back together, and then the sidebar love plot between Cusack and Roberts, which blossoms near the end. The seeds are planted early on, but there are long gaps before it is watered and tended to on any regular basis. To me, there is a world more of possibilities on parodying the press and movie industry in such a setting that would have been far more creative and far funnier. There still is something to laugh at, and I love the idea that is set everything forth, but there isn’t enough to laugh at. The most outrageous thing America’s Sweethearts asks us to believe is that Zeta-Jones and Roberts are sisters. It doesn’t help that, a) they share not one physical characteristic aside from their sex and body parts, and b) are completely different ethnicities. It’s completely unfathomable. Like the tabloid-hungry photographers and journalists in The Princess Diaries, this is another version of what it is like to be famous, and I doubt there was much hyperbole on their attitudes and what celebrities have to deal with from the press.

Directed by Joe Roth. With Seth Green (blah), Stanley Tucci (better), Christopher Walken (best, and who would have better belonged in Cecil B. DeMented) and Hank (“hunket”) Azaria.

PostScript: This would have been perfectly ripe material for Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor to satirize!


link directly to this review at
originally posted: 07/28/01 07:51:48
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User Comments

11/23/17 Katrina c America,s sweethearts was fun to watch i love billy crystal 4 stars
8/05/09 Josie Cotton is a goddess Hit and miss 3 stars
7/27/09 RLan Good cast hampered by a real bad script. 2 stars
9/28/08 Samantha Pruitt very funny and smart, cute characters 4 stars
3/03/08 ladavies I don't know why I bothered. 2 stars
7/27/04 Desperado One of the funniest movies I have seen, if u dont like it ur a dipshit 5 stars
6/10/04 Crystal the worst movie ever 1 stars
1/01/04 Monster W. Kung Starts out ok, then falls apart. 2 stars
10/12/03 laura paterson only thing that spoils it is Zeta-Jones! otherwise perfect cast! 4 stars
5/06/03 Joesco Nowhere near as cynically pointed as it could have been and a waste of the stars 2 stars
1/06/03 Zaharin Hamid aka The Movie Samseng Dear Joe Roth, fuck you! The ultimate let down ever! 1 stars
11/16/02 Big Ted Very Disappointing 2 stars
6/13/02 Bada Bing Crosby movie was crap, kinda like Gary Vidmar's disrespect for women 1 stars
6/12/02 hilarydsur awesome-hilarious 5 stars
4/04/02 cat I love John, I love Catherine, I love Julia, but the end was the only remotely funny part. 4 stars
3/04/02 Marcia Lartz Fairly good. Surprising to see C. Zeta-Jones rebound so well from being stuck up in traffic 4 stars
12/17/01 The Bomb 69 I hate to admit it but I laughed quite often!!! 4 stars
12/08/01 Corinna Adam Great Movie,with very great John Cusack 5 stars
11/22/01 Andrew Carden So Funny, and The Best Direction For 2001! 5 stars
11/10/01 jawsboy cusack kicks ass, but the trailer was probably better than this movie. entertaining though. 3 stars
10/27/01 Lydia It was a great movie , I can't stop laughing since the movie started 5 stars
10/02/01 Phoenix I didn't think I would like it, but it was a hilarious film. 5 stars
9/13/01 Lynda See it on video. 3 stars
8/22/01 The Boy In The Designer Bubble Julia Roberts looks like a female Mr Ed. How did she become a movie star? 2 stars
8/18/01 Suzz not bad but not good either 3 stars
8/05/01 rogue I have to love Cusack in any movie, And Crystal was a riot, Julia i could have done without 4 stars
8/05/01 Greyjack Crystal & Cusack are very funny; Zeta Jones looks great as always. Fun movie. 4 stars
8/05/01 Jarred Are there any other actress in Hollwood 'cept julia and "j-ho/lo" 1 stars
8/05/01 Diana Uhrich Disappointig. Some vulgar scenes. Good chemistry between Roberts and Cusack. 3 stars
8/04/01 Mortis Usually I never pay to see Julia's film -I vow to never pay again! I want my money back! 1 stars
7/31/01 BBReBozo If I wasn't in the middle of my crowded row, I would have walked out of this piece of fuck. 1 stars
7/30/01 John Lyons Funny, but really tired of Julia Roberts 4 stars
7/30/01 glo funny in spots. crystal is great as usual. julia roberts is eye candy along with zeta jones 3 stars
7/29/01 GUV'Ness Julia's annoying screaching cackle of a laugh is getting old very old 1 stars
7/28/01 Geebo Cusack was great, the movie was okay. 4 stars
7/28/01 Denise Overall very amusing, laughs make up for its shortcomings 4 stars
7/27/01 Susan Great people, but the writing SUCKED!! 2 stars
7/25/01 Jim Muller I wanted to "Like" this movie. It wasn't REAL enough to allow me to "CARE". "INSIDE JOKE"-? 2 stars
7/24/01 Belittle This was great, anyone that disagrees is RETARDED 5 stars
7/24/01 jada john WHY?????? 2 stars
7/24/01 Debbie Great movie - lots of fun. If Julia smiles, its got to be good! 5 stars
7/23/01 anusface billy crystal's face on poster: I will never see this shitpile, craphole, vomit-bag garbge 1 stars
7/22/01 tom rush a really funny enjoyable film 5 stars
7/22/01 sdfk Worth it for several good moments and lines 4 stars
7/21/01 John Torres Julia Roberts she suck in everthing shes in 2 stars
7/21/01 Jake Ugh! What crap. I'm so sick of seeing the trailer on TV. 1 stars
7/20/01 Roselani Scott Great movie. I loved it! 5 stars
7/18/01 Mr. Shmegma Julia & John are great, but a very weak picture. 3 stars
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  04-Oct-2001 (M)

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