Sandra Bullock (The Proposal) and Bradley Cooper (The Hangover) star in this off-the-wall comedy about a blind date gone hilariously wrong. When eccentric, but loveable, Mary gets set up with Steve, a news channel cameraman, she falls hard. He does not. Mary decides to follow Steve on a cross-country hunt for breaking news and soon finds herself entangled in the story. But despite the media storm surrounding her, Mary may just discover her true place in the world... and the man of her dreams!
So Sandra Bullock made history this year by winning Hollywood's top honour for Best Actress, as well as its top honour for Worst Actress- for two different shows, of course. The sports drama "The Blind Side" helped her clinch the former award; while this rom-com "All about Steve" won her the latter. It puzzles this reviewer though- how can one actress give both the best and the worst performances of the year at the same time? If you honour someone for being the best at what she does, then how is it possible to acknowledge her for being the worst concomitantly?
Never mind the logical fallacy- watching "All about Steve", it becomes clear that whoever decided she should win the Worst Actress award was obviously blind-sided (pardon the pun). Bullock is easily the best thing about this very average rom-com, playing a klutzy, wound-up, talkative cruciverbalist who has an uber, I mean, super huge crush on a television cameraman. Steve (Bradley Cooper), she was set up on a blind date with. Yes, despite the fact that her character is so easy to dislike, Bullock's charm ultimately turns her character Mary Horowitz into someone oddly endearing.
Producing the movie with her "Miss Congeniality" and "The Proposal" producer Mary McLaglen, Bullock gamely hams it up as the downright eccentric and not very immediately likeable crossword puzzle constructor (yes, that's what cruciverbalist means). Among her other quirks, Bullock's Mary Horowitz spews out arcane facts like a talking encyclopaedia, wears bright red boots everywhere she goes, and thanks the truck driver she's hitching a ride for not raping her. Those qualities don't exactly make for a pleasant main character, but kudos to Bullock for possessing enough charisma to actually pull it off.
This is not the Bullock we know and have seen in her other rom-coms "Miss Congeniality", "Two Weeks Notice" or last summer's surprise hit "The Proposal"- which probably also explains why she decided to take up the role in the first place (for those out there who canít quite fathom why). No, this reviewer believes she wanted to do something different in the first place and hence her involvement in this much-panned film.
Is the product as bad as it sounds? Not really. Kim Barker's script and Phil Traill's direction is at best pedestrian and doesn't seem to have any other ideas beyond its premise. The reason "All about Steve" remains mildly enjoyable lies in its cast. Besides Bullock, the three-man team of Thomas Haden Church, Bradley Cooper and Ken Jeong are a hoot. Making the best out of the limited comedic potential of their lines and situations, their camaraderie is easily the highlight of the movie next to Bullock's performance.
Thanks to the great cast, "All about Steve" isn't the turkey one might expect. In fact, it isn't any worse (and for that matter, better) than any of the other Hollywood rom-coms that have enjoyed a theatrical release, e.g. The Bounty Hunter. In no way therefore does Bullock deserve the Worst Actress award for this role- yes, it isn't her best, but it most certainly isn't her worst. In fact, this reviewer thinks that she should instead be commended for bravely taking on a role different from that we've seen in her previous rom-coms. For that quality as an actress, Bullock firmly deserves to win that coveted Oscar.
SPECIAL FEATURES :
Deleted/Alternate Scenes - Skip the earlier four redundant scenes and go straight to the last alternate scene of Thomas, Bradley and Ken in the news van. This cussier, more vulgar and definitely funnier version than the PG-13 version you see in the film is most definitely worth your time.
Gag Reel - Not all comedies have funny outtakes. This one is a good example of that.
The Dolby 5.1 audio does its best with ambient sounds and the songs in the film to give a surround experience. Visuals are sharp and clear with good contrast throughout.
MOVIE RATING :
by Gabriel Chong
on 22 April 2010