Archives for posts with tag: marisa tomei

Jane Goodale (Ashley Judd) is a talent-booker for a nationally syndicated television talk show that for some reason desires to book, on the one hand, Hillary Clinton and Fidel Castro, and, on the other, a batty old lady with theories about male infidelity.  Her boss, Diane (Ellen Barkin), speaks in smug clichés and sits with one foot tucked up under her. On TV. In a skirt. At her job as a hot-shot talk show host.

MV5BNWIwMGYzOGYtMDY2Yy00NDk5LWI5MTItMDI2YzExMzI4ZDQ0XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTE0MDY4Mjk@._V1_UX182_CR0,0,182,268_AL_Also working on the show is Eddie (Hugh Jackman), who wears black Levis and mock turtlenecks and too much hair gel but apparently gets all the ladies. It was 2001. And, to be fair, he still looked like Hugh Jackman. And then there is Ray (Greg Kinnear), who is sensitive and has glasses and a girlfriend but they’re having problems. So Jane falls hard and digs her diaphragm out of a shoebox, in a touchingly hilarious moment.

Of course Ray goes back to his girlfriend. And, instead of drinking heavily or eating all the ice cream or something else hackneyed but cathartic, Jane dances on the career implosion tightrope! She decides, having read an article about how bulls don’t like to mate with the same cow twice, that this is why Ray left her, and she creates an entire fake person whose research is about this “new cow theory.” And then, because fact-checking was not a thing, she manages to fool the world into believing this woman is real, and she gets booked on her own show! It is insane.

But, otherwise, the movie is cute. It has annoying voiceovers, sure, and annoying intertitles, sure, presumably because Tony Goldwyn was trying to be Richard Curtis, but I’ll allow it. And this is because the other stuff is nice. Jane’s best friend, Liz (Marisa Tomei), is nutty but supportive in classic Marisa Tomei fashion. They pass the Bechdel test. And Jane’s sister (Catherine Dent) is trying to get pregnant, and she and her husband (Peter Friedman) are an unsubtle but still pleasant contrast to Jane’s wackiness.

Stray observations:

  • Fashion was terrible. Jane deliberately wears a tank top and some kind of sport…skirt? Like, basketball shorts, but a miniskirt. And she has a coat that resembles nothing so much as a silk dressing gown.
  • Seriously. Jane thinks they can book Fidel Castro. But this is a show that does not do the very simple digging that will reveal that the new cow theoretician does not exist. Ah, 2001, and careers in movies.

Director: Tony Goldwyn
Rating: PG-13
Length: 97 minutes
Score: 3/5

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On IMDb, this movie is billed also as a comedy. I don’t remember the early 90s that well, in fairness, but it’s a mystery to me how this is at all funny. Like, it starts in an orphanage, there’s an attempted rape, stalking, and heart disease… Does one hockey game really make a difference?

Caroline (Marisa Tomei) is a diner waitress in Minneapolis. She falls in love too quickly and men treat her badly. Adam (Christian Slater) is a diner busboy with a heart condition, a dog, a lot of books, and no parents. Rosie Perez is Caroline’s sassy waitress friend. Her name is Cindy, apparently, but, you know, it’s Rosie Perez. Oh, and then a couple of dudes attack Caroline and Adam saves her (because he follows her home, which is obviously way better than being a rapist, but isn’t…great), so she falls for him.

So I guess you could say that both Caroline and Adam have heart conditions! Only some of them are metaphorical!

Marisa Tomei is, of course, adorable. But her charm and her (as far as I can tell) plausible Minnesota accent are wasted on a dodgy script and a taciturn and ill-groomed Christian Slater. The 90s were definitely a time when we could not tell the difference between “deep and quiet” and “possibly Nell, from the movie Nell.” Or between “sensitive hair” and “doesn’t know how to buy shampoo.” Or even between”sweetly devoted” and “sneaks into your bedroom regularly and watches you sleep.”

Director: Tony Bill
Rating: PG-13
Length: 102 minutes
Score: 2/5