Movie Review by Henri Roe
Starring: Queen Latifah, LL Cool J, Timothy Hutton, Gerard Depardieu, Alicia Witt
Director: Wayne Wang
When the film’s synopsis states near the beginning, “when a misdiagnosis leads to….” you already really know that the film has a ‘happy ever after’ ending waiting for you. Add to this the fact that one of the director’s (Wang’s) previous films was MAID IN MANHATTAN and you’re sure of your diagnosis.
The film starts off slow – a bad sign – and Queen Laytifah seems unnaturally stiff as her dull character Georgia. The only redeeming feature of the film is the relationship between Georgia and her love interest Sean played brilliantly by LL Cool J. He has not one hint of his hard man rapper image. This is unfortunately the only thing that keeps you watching the first half of the film. The doctor played by Ranjit Chowdhry adds nothing but cringes, and Georgia’s boss (Timothy Hutton) is laughable in the wrong way.
Then something remarkable happens. During the film, at the point when Georgia starts singing “why me” it metaphorically changes into a joy to watch. A smile appears on your face and doesn’t leave. That is until the end when suddenly the film turns back into the dull and lifeless one at the beginning.
Before this however you meet the cast at the hotel who simply act wonderfully together and even their characters are played with style so that you don’t get tired of them being there. Depardieu plays his part beautifully, a chef so adorable that you want to put him in your back pocket and keep him safe.
This is overall a good film but you end up feeling like it’s Cinderella. Scruffy and lifeless in the beginning, it then suddenly metamorphoses into something quite lovely until, just at the point when you think everything could quite happily stay like that, it turns back into a scruffy and dull film again without much life.
This film is better than average but only just.