Down to You

Bomb Rating: 

This film is in deep trouble the second Al Connelly (Freddie Prinze, Jr.) starts talking to the screen, which is during the first seconds of the film. I don't know why directors continually insist on using this device. It's not cute, and it certainly doesn't make the characters endearing to the audience. In fact, it's pretty much a signal that director Kris Isacsson has raised a white flag over the entire production.

This is another example of Hollywood's favorite formula: plop two attractive young actors down in a story that consists of skull-crushing tedium, and be absolutely sure to use characters who might have better personalities had they been lobotomized with a sledgehammer and a railroad spike. Al falls in love with Imogen (Julia Stiles) the first time he sees her, they hook up, engage in a relationship, and break up. Then Al whines about it for the rest of the film. Golly, who in their right mind wouldn't want to shell out seven bucks to sit through that?

If there's one thing Freddie Prinze is good at, it's whining. He's a whiner extraordinaire. And I swear, he's exactly one make-up artist and a personal trainer away from being that kid in junior high who got dog-piled by the entire gym class. More pain comes from the fact that Henry Winkler plays his dad, Chef Ray. Having watched "Happy Days" as a kid, seeing Henry Winkler as a middle-aged man serves only to make me daydream about giving Dr. Kevorkian much broader powers.

Listen to how Imogen and Al speak to each other -- it's like Isacsson wrote the dialogue to be performed by two sales consultants at a marketing conference. As for Julia Stiles, I've got to admit that she's cute. Until she speaks, that is. That girl has a voice so husky one wouldn't be surprised to find a penis sitting in a jar of formaldehyde on her mantel.

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