Proving that Julia Roberts can be both unattractive and boring in the same film is hardly much of an achievement.
For the sake of Anglo-American relations I'll try my damnedest here not to insult the British. Hmm-mm. Mmm hmm mmm... Oh, screw it: Director Stephen Frears (a Brit) has done little more than make the George Romero version of "Remains of the Day." We meet a stuffy British guy named Dr. Jekyll (John Malkovich) who, in typical British fashion, is completely unable to express emotion. (Idea of the day: A great name for a BBC game show would be "Express Your Feelings!") Underneath his stiff demeanor, however, Dr. Jekyll longs to run naked through the streets and hump his chambermaid, Mary Reilly (Julia Roberts), so he creates an alter-ego, Mr. Edward Hyde, to handle such undignified tasks such as killing hookers and licking Julia's back.
Proving that Julia Roberts can be both unattractive and boring in the same film is hardly much of an achievement, but it's all this film seems able to accomplish. So little actually happens in the film that you spend most of your time laughing at Dr. Jekyll's staff for not coming up with better explanations for why there are basically two Dr. Jekylls running around.
Since many Brits have explained to me that they're not all stuffy dweebs, I suggest they excommunicate Stephen Frears for perpetrating stereotypes. Send him to America to direct episodes of "Married with Children."
To spread the word about this Mary Reilly review on Twitter.To get instant updates of Mr. Cranky reviews, subscribe to our RSS feed.