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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 EricDSnider

"A mediocre Hollywood film about making a mediocre Hollywood film."
3 stars

"America's Sweethearts" is a romantic comedy that also parodies the film industry and was co-written by Billy Crystal. If you watched only the first five minutes of it, you'd figure all that out for yourself.

It's certainly a romantic comedy because it features Julia Roberts. She's allegedly a supporting character here, playing Kiki, the personal assistant (and sister) to Hollywood's biggest star, Gwen Harrison. But since Gwen Harrison is self-centered and virtually unlikable, and is played by Catherine Zeta-Jones (whom you know is NOT a "romantic comedy" actress), you know it will be Kiki whose love life is most affected.

And whom will she fall in love with? Well, Eddie Thomas, of course. Eddie (John Cusack) was Gwen's husband for several years and co-star for even longer, but they've been separated for 18 months. In that time, he's gone off the deep end and is seeking spiritual counseling, while she is seeing a Spaniard named Hector (Hank Azaria) and has made two unsuccessful films on her own.

Now, Eddie and Gwen's last film together, "Time Over Time," is about to be released after a long delay. The slimy studio head (Stanley Tucci) is convinced it will flop unless audiences believe there's a chance their beloved Eddie and Gwen will reunite in real life, too. So he recruits top publicist Lee (Billy Crystal) to organize a press junket that will make the entertainment reporters and film critics think a reconciliation is afoot -- and also distract from the fact that they haven't seen the movie yet, due to the peculiarities of the crazed, obsessive director (Christopher Walken).

The press junket is the target of the most satire. This is where media types are shmoozed and entertained for a weekend at some lush hotel, mingling with the stars of the film and getting ridiculously superficial, carefully orchestrated five-minute interviews with them. Oh, and maybe they watch the movie, too, ideally after they've been stupefied with glitz, glamour and food.

And how do we know it's Billy Crystal at the script (along with Peter Tolan, who wrote for "The Larry Sanders Show")? Because of the cornball shtick, the set-up/punch line rim-shot-style jokes, stuff you'd hear a two-man comedy team doing in the Catskills. It's funny stuff, usually, with a few solid one-liners and many snappy bits of banter. Everyone's a comedian in this world.

Christopher Walken continues his streak of stealing every movie he's in. (If you'd seen "Joe Dirt," you'd know how he saved that train wreck.) But nearly the entire cast is great, really. We know we love Ms. Julia, but what about that John Cusack? We've loved him for almost 20 years, and he's just getting better. Not to mention Hank Azaria, Stanley Tucci, and Seth Green (who plays Lee's assistant). And this is easily Billy Crystal's best film in a while.

The only significant drawback, apart from some cheap laughs half-way through with a misleading surveillance camera, is the finale. It's too silly, too crazy and too unreal, and is a poor match with the generally smart material that precedes it.

Still, this is a perfectly good Billy-Crystal-written-romantic-comedy-that-parodies-Hollywood. It meets its goals well enough, though it certainly doesn't strive for much extra credit. It's just funny enough, just romantic enough and just satiric enough to be good.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 07/25/01 08:01:55
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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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