JACK (Freddie Prinze, Jr.) is a successful NYC advertising exec, with a life as glossy as the ads he spins. JILL (Taryn Manning) is younger and new to the city, with nothing to stand on but her fiery personality and romantic ideals. Opposites attract, and the two go from strangers to roommates to lovers at breakneck speed. Together they author a manifesto of "rules to live by." But when Jill confesses to a deep secret after a string of unexplained absences, Jack is betrayed by Jill's violation of Rule 1: Be Honest -- and the two break up. Later, a mysterious bomb threat called into Jack's office offers the couple a second chance.
Those looking forward to spending a lazy weekend with a loved one watching a romantic movie might just want to pop this DVD into the player. Starring Freddie Prinze Jr. and Taryn Manning as the titular Jack and Jill, everything here works according to formula, what with opposites attract and living a life of free-spiritedness, of following your heart, and so on.
First the characters. Jack is a successful (yep, they all have to be, with a swanky bachelor pad and a chick-magnet car) ad executive who on one hand has immense creativity for his clients, but on the other lives life according to his own set of unwavering rules to maintain a sense of rigid order to his life. Everything in life is overrated in his books, so the outcome is a terribly boring and miserable existence. That's also because of his mantra that "real happiness is bad for sales" since people no longer have any new wants and desires to exercise their consumer rights.
Opposites attract, and so Jill is a carefree soul with nary a worry, an optimist toward living a fulfilling life, a messier person compared to Jack, and things go topsy-turvy when Jack invites Jill to be his housemate. In order to draw some lines when living in close quarters, the duo draws up a manifesto of Rules to Live By, and as the adage goes, falls in love.
There's not much "versus the World" here other than the challenges that come up against their own little circle, especially when Jill is hiding a condition and not being too upfront about it, because after all, who would want to tell someone of a severe problem in fear of the fella bolting through the front door? And if there's one line in the show that accentuates this problem succinctly, is the statement Jack made about having a cool looking vehicle that broke down so often that he got it traded, because he confessed to not liking in having to invest a lot of hard work for nothing. That also sums up his attitude toward any relationship and his lack thereof.
Writer-director Vanessa Parise has crafted a fairly entertaining romantic tale, and has a supporting role here as Lucy, the advice dispensing boss of Jill's, though the better support role has got to be Peter Stebbing's George, who dishes out one of the best lines in the movie when recounting to Jack his take of the whole modern dating-marriage-separation cycle.
Freddie Prinze Jr. and Taryn Manning share just about enough chemistry to keep you engaged, and with any romantic film comes with its fair share of ballads in its soundtrack. There's no need for Kleenex, and there's no real laugh out loud moment as everything sets forth on an even keel of a fairy-tale, not that it's unexpected given its serendipitous setting and development. As mentioned, recommended for those who are badly in need of any fix for a romantic movie on a lazy weekend.
SPECIAL FEATURES :
This Code 3 DVD contains no extra features.
Presented in anamorphic widescreen format with a relatively soft visual transfer. You'll have a choice of audio either in 2.0 stereo or 5.1 surround in which the film doesn't have any scene that will push it to the limits, unless you prefer listening to the romantic ballads in sense-surround.
by Stefan Shih