Thursday, January 15, 2004

Just Married is just awful
Review by Sombrero Grande, with apologies to the friend who got him this DVD for Christmas

In the tradition of modern “comedies” that are sorely lacking in anything resembling actual humor, along comes Just Married. Just Married just isn’t funny. There was only one moment where I actually laughed and it came from a completely random Star Wars moment that was funny only because it was so completely different from anything else in the entire movie.

The story attempts to conjure up a “honeymoon from Hell,” and yes, it’s awful. In fact it’s so bad that watching it is only, I’d imagine, slightly preferable to actually living it. The hardships and “gags” dreamt up by the screenwriter are so easy to predict and so lousy in their pay-offs that they could have easily been plucked from a rejected idea bin from the later National Lampoon Vacation movies. Actually one joke, the foot-caught-in-the-toilet-whilst-attempting-to-join-the-Mile-High-Club gag, is brazenly stolen directly from Vegas Vacation, and even that lackluster film executed it better.

After such a horrid honeymoon, the newlyweds (played by Ashton Kutcher and Brittany Murphy) part ways until the groom’s father imparts a few words of wisdom that say something to the effect of “don’t give up; marriage is hard work.” Then Ashton rushes with a newfound drive to reunite with his wife and delivers his own “touching” speech that brings all the characters that hated him to tears of acceptance whilst I counted ceiling tiles. Honestly, it’s the kind of “heartfelt” speech that one would expect to hear on Full House when Michelle breaks a lamp or Stephanie feels neglected, complete with the same heavy-handed music that tells you how to feel when an inept director can’t be bothered to take the time to attempt to induce emotions in viewers in any real way. Of course I suppose that’s to be expected considering that Just Married’s director, Shawn Levy, has served as director on numerous kiddie TV series like Nickelodeon’s The Secret World of Alex Mack and the Disney Channel’s The Famous Jett Jackson. His other big screen directing efforts include such gems as Cheaper by the Dozen and Big Fat Liar. Mr. Levy, you’re obviously playing way out of your league. It’s time to go back to working on kiddie cable shows where your audience is too young and doped up on sugar cereals to realize they’re watching the work of a truly mediocre talent.


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