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Overall Rating

Awesome: 12.22%
Worth A Look: 24.44%
Pretty Bad: 21.11%
Total Crap: 6.67%

8 reviews, 42 user ratings

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by Greg Muskewitz

"Mirkin flatters himself with repetition of previous feature."
2 stars

Director David Mirkin is obviously striving for the same sort of anserous, goofiness in "Heartbreakers" that propelled his debut film "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion" to an almost cult status. I loved that movie, its wacky humor, its dorky characters, and the rompfully fun adventures that they took us on. Although that is the attempt, that doesn't happen here, but while Mirkin sets similar aims, he exchanges them for errant substitutions, and substitutions that don't add up to the real thing.

Mother and daughter con-team, Max and Page Conners (Sigourney Weaver and Jennifer Love Hewitt) are into the trade of fake identities, and luxurious lifestyles. One attracts a wealthy man, gets married, while the other moves in a gets the "prospect" in trouble by allowing herself to get caught. Max is the one who marries, while the slutty Page (accoutered in skimpy underwear, rump-reaching dresses, breast-popping tops) is the offsetting temptress.

Of course, once all this happens, generally the day after the wedding, there is a divorce and hefty settlement on her behalf. And onto the next rich bastard. From Ray Liotta, to a ruddy-nosed, chain-smoking, pot-bellied Gene Hackman. So the appearance changes, from debutante to Russian seductress, from greasy whore to muddy whore. The main conflict is that Page wants to go out on her own for future cons, but her mother isn't ready to let her out from under her wings --she knows better. (Kind of like a pablumic stretch and parody-like twist on "Anywhere but Here.") The biggest "mother knows best" anxiety comes from accidentally falling in love (like Hewitt does with an emaciated Jason Lee) and getting pregnant (like how Weaver ended up with her).

There are easily some very funny situations, and I would be shortchanging myself if I wasn't into some of the humor, but there is too much other decorative raiment that unhealthily disguises it. On one hand, we have Mirkin's proclivity and hommage to dorks and nerds (as seen in "Romy and Michele"), and their goofy attributions, but then on the other hand, we have the over sexualization of body over talent. Both actresses are decked out in a diverse array of fashionably chic clothing and garments, but in the case of Hewitt, it is far more concerned with taking them off.

One major problem is the inability for "Heartbreakers" to come to some reasonable conclusion. Every time it seems bound to end, it keeps on pushing for the next possible payoff and trick to extend it just a little more. Early on we were treated to a couple of clever, laughable cons, like getting your way out of paying for dinner (break an ashtray and sprinkle the shards over the food) or getting a free hotel room in a booked resort (by tripping the other, younger "anti hero" without her preparation), etc. Another major problem is the development between Hewitt and Lee --there really is none. It is thoroughly perplexing why Lee's character would even be remotely interested in having anything to do with Hewitt. She acts like a complete bitch to him, takes advantage of him at every moment, aims to harm him (especially with her six-inch heels), and yet each time he comes fawning after her. This is completely unmotivated and unbuyable; it just does not work. A lot of the problem with that is that even though these two women are anti heroes, as an audience, we have no reason to go along with their scams or even condone them. As characters, we hardly like them, and I would much rather see them end up in jail or some sort of punishment for the depauperation and wrongful acts they commit.

"Heartbreakers" winds on too long, especially dragging out the surprise developments that take place over the last quarter of the movie. For all the effort that is being put into making it funny, it falls flat, laying prone in almost the same face-down position Hewitt landed in. It eventually becomes apparent that we are no longer rooting for the under-dog nerds, but we are being forced to accept a dumbness that adopts itself to the rest of the movie. It is obvious that this is not to be taken real, but the entire implementation of the message, and the fact that many of the characters are so wrongly accepting, ruin the fun effect. And where Romy and Michele were such likable characters, two dolts that it was exciting and wonderful to be around, Max and Page do not compare in any way.

The biggest problem in "Heartbreakers" is Jennifer Love Hewitt --known to many as Jennifer Love Boob-it, or Jennifer Love Huge-tits, and the allusion to her breastiness (something she cannot go without mentioning in any article or blurb) is not something hidden in the movie. First and foremost, she is not a good actress at all. She is more of a sexual item, put on display as some sort of salacious ham-hock in the window. Hewitt knowingly exploits her body as an itemization in a sexual manner, and does so without thinking twice about it. The frail girl, dressed throughout in narrow, tight-fitting children's clothes, looks as though she is about to snap. But she is far from the caliber of performing alongside pros like Weaver and Hackman --though why they stooped to this is completely unknown to me. Hewitt is a phony, and a bad faker; whether she is supposed to be smoking a cigarette, wearing glasses, or speaking with a British accent, she fails miserably and looks horrible trying to do it. The only thing that scares me, is that Hewitt's unabashed sexuality is germinating to places that it shouldn't be; as if she wasn't already a fish-out-of-water here, it will be ever-so-more apparent when she appears in some period piece with Anthony Hopkins.

Poorly written imitation on the cutesy, goofiness of "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion," as much as I really wanted and tried to like this in the same manner, I came nowhere close near it. "Heartbreakers" rather diminishes the similarities only to the trace of mimicry in the director's motives, and trades talent for sexy bodies hoping that that enticement might trick the mind by playing with the body. The sheer hokiness and dismissal of convincingly making any developments throughout, hurts this the most. I take that back, Jennifer Love Hewitt hurts it the most.

Final Verdict: C-.

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originally posted: 03/23/01 09:16:17
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User Comments

9/13/17 morris campbell funny flick fuck the haters 4 stars
6/03/11 art THIS FLICK is SICK!!!! 1 stars
9/03/09 art IT WILL GIVE YOU HEARTBURN! 1 stars
4/19/08 art IT STINK'S 1 stars
4/13/07 David Pollastrini Hewitt is hot in this! 3 stars
4/18/06 Dk Fuuny up to Hackmans death which leaves 35 min of bordom 3 stars
3/09/06 Dk Sexy but not much else 2 stars
6/19/04 Denise Duspiva skanks 3 stars
7/11/03 Joesco Not as clever as it would like to be - Weaver is good - Hewitt barely eye candy 2 stars
5/20/03 Charles Tatum Dirty Rotten Scoundrelesses deserved an R and a half hour editing trim, Weaver's a hoot 3 stars
4/16/03 Andrew Carden Surprisingly Funny Comedy...Hackman and Weaver Are Great Together, 4 stars
4/05/03 Jack Sommersby Never really breaks into its own, but it's pleasant enough (though overlong). 3 stars
11/27/02 Tony Miller Pratfalls not worth breaking beautiful Hewitt's stride, let alone her finger. Unfunny. 2 stars
8/28/02 Mandy Seever Jennifer Love Hewwitt was made for soo much better; Weaver pretty much in character. 1 stars
7/06/02 Darlene Groetz The movie where Jennifer Love Hewitt became a zombie of the tragic wands. 2 stars
7/05/02 Jenny Tullwartz After seeing this, Jennifer, I know what you did last bummer. 2 stars
6/06/02 qtpie Loved It !! :) 5 stars
6/01/02 stud cool 5 stars
5/27/02 Nicole Meant to be light and ridiculous. Take it at face value and you will enjoy it. 4 stars
2/28/02 Alan Smithee Should have been titled the JLH t*t and @$$ show. Gene Hackman is wasted. 1 stars
12/16/01 toneely I really like all the actors in this movie, but This movie is sooo BAD!!!! 2 stars
8/30/01 Simeon Briggs Fucking great. I just want Jennifer to hold me. and Jason Lee needed more one liners 4 stars
8/29/01 Matthew Bartley Great performances all round...very welcome change from grossout stuff 4 stars
7/17/01 Erin This movie was cute nothing more nothing less 4 stars
7/15/01 Jester219 Chasing Amy's Jason Lee rules like a mofo. and JLH is my mistress, dont tell. 5 stars
7/09/01 Roy Smith JLH is sexy but her and Jason Lee are the weakest links..still really funny though. 5 stars
6/20/01 Jax I liked it. Weaver and Hackman were incredible. I love JLH. Jason Lee at his best. 4 stars
5/22/01 Eric funny as hell 5 stars
5/07/01 Kate Really really awesome!!! 5 stars
5/05/01 The Chosen One Oh boy 5 stars
4/08/01 John Lyons Besides looking great, J.L.Hewitt can really act! Wanted to see more of Hackman. 5 stars
4/02/01 Bot Tropic Ray Liotta is surprisingly memorable, & JLH is beautiful & way way underrated by all of you 5 stars
3/31/01 Natalie Nat saw it. Now she is an expert faller. lol. I thought it kicked. 5 stars
3/29/01 Wolvie Not Bad. Jennifer Love Hewitt is a hottie! Pretty funny in parts and a fairly good story. 4 stars
3/28/01 tnt hackman and weaver are hilarious..hewitt and jason lee's scenes are terrible 3 stars
3/27/01 kidrock This movie was smart and funny and Jennifer,Segourney,Ray and Gene were excellent. 5 stars
3/26/01 Joe suck 1 stars
3/25/01 Sid 6.7 A relatively mediocre broad, provocative cleavage-festival with seldom chuckles or cackles 2 stars
3/25/01 Peejay She was one of the better parts of the film, not her body. Out of the gutter now Greg. 4 stars
3/19/01 *~Danielle*Ophelia~* (formerly KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi) Jennifer Love Huge-Tits couldn't act her way out of a wet Kleenex. 3 stars
3/19/01 Katie Young I thought that this movie was incredibly cute! It was funny, a chick-flick SEE IT! : ) 4 stars
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  23-Mar-2001 (PG-13)


  05-Jul-2001 (M)

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