A LOT LIKE LOVE
MOVIE: **1/2 (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: *** (out of 5)
Ashton Kutcher as OLIVER MARTIN
Amanda Peet as EMILY FRIEHL
Kathryn Hahn as MICHELLE
Kal Penn as JEETER
Ali Larter as GINA
Gabriel Mann as PETER
Directed by: Nigel Cole
BY KEVIN CARR
I’m going to spare you a lot of the in-depth discussion of “A Lot Like Love.” Most likely, you’ve heard all of it before – either elsewhere in DVD reviews, or even reviews of this film when it came out earlier this year (including mine).
Suffice to say, “A Lot Like Love” doesn’t quite hit the mark as a romantic comedy. It tries to be a “When Harry Met Sally” for 2005, but trips on its own attempts to be different. Still, Amanda Peet and Ashton Kutcher work well together as would-be lovers who keep crossing paths every couple years.
Peet and Kutcher play Emily and Oliver, who meet for the first time on a plane. Emily is an impulsive kid who breaks up with her boyfriend before the plane takes off and then initiates Oliver into the mile-high club before the plane lands. After spending the day in New York together, Oliver gives Emily his parents number with instructions to look him up in seven years to find out how successful he will become.
Of course, Emily doesn’t wait seven years. Within three years, they hook up for a New Year’s Eve date. What starts off with a kiss turns into an on-again/off-again non-relationship over years. Whenever one is ready to start being serious with the other, there’s always something in the way – work, heartache, fiancés.
The story is cute, but not cute enough to be a classic. Maybe the two actors are just getting too old for the younger crowd but not old enough for the middle-age crowd. The faults of the movie lie in the story much more than they do with its stars.
See, I told you that you’ve probably heard all this before.
When I first saw “A Lot Like Love” in the theaters, I wasn’t terribly impressed. In revisiting it on DVD, I’ve found myself feeling the same way about the movie in general. However, where I found myself a little more impressed was with Ashton Kutcher and Amanda Peet. In general, I like both actors – Peet a little more than Kutcher, but they are both fine.
These two have chemistry. In fact, they have great chemistry. The ironic thing is that the filmmakers for this movie were trying to recreate something like “When Harry Met Sally,” and they didn’t. But that doesn’t mean its the fault of the actors. The industry will probably now look at Amanda Peet and Ashton Kutcher as incompatible on screen. However, it’s not their fault. They just weren’t given the best vehicle.
The DVD has a nice selection of features, including a relatively standard audio commentary by director Nigel Cole and producers Armyan Bernstein and Kevin Messick. There’s also a half-dozen deleted scenes and a music video by Auqalung.
The best piece of the special features is the blooper reel that shows how much fun Kutcher and Peet had on set. After watching this, it’s clear that their chemistry was genuine.
This is a decent rental for date night. It can be fun, and it can be sweet. It’s no “Pretty Woman,” but few movies are. You could do a lot worse in the romantic comedy category.
Specifications: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. Widescreen (1.85:1), enhanced for 16×9 televisions. French and Spanish language tracks. French and Spanish subtitles. English subtitles for the hearing impaired.