A Lot Like Love

A Lot Like Love
When does a friendship become a romance? Two best friends toe the line between the two in a new romantic comedy starring Ashton Kutcher and Amanda Peet. Kutcher is Oliver, a young man who seems to think that love will certainly "happen" when he's ready for it. Peet is Emily, a confident woman who knows just what she wants in a boyfriend, and Oliver isn't it. They meet on an airplane and the attraction is instantaneous. They even go so far as to become members of the "Mile High Club" - enjoying a wild tryst in the tiny plane's lavatory. They part quickly with no intention of ever seeing each other again, but fate intervenes. The unlikely duo spend the next seven years developing a relationship - whether a friendly or romantic one remains to be seen.

Directed by Nigel Cole ("Calendar Girls"), A Lot Like Love follows Oliver and Emily as they encounter changes and unforseen events that life always throws at us, including relocations, new careers, engagements, and the confusion the two share about their feelings for one another. Repeatedly they consider taking their extended friendship to a romantic level, but somehow always decide against it - until one of them changes their mind.

This film was Colin Patrick Lynch's writing debut and boy, does it show. Emily and Oliver are two of the shallowest, most oblivious characters to hit the big screen in a long time. The trouble is, they aren't supposed to be shallow. Ashton Kutcher and Amanda Peet do the best they can with what they have to work with, but there just isn't enough there to make us care about these characters. It also doesn't help that the two lead characters have absolutely no romantic chemistry onscreen. They seem like odd couple buddies - even when they're behaving otherwise. The incredible coincedences they experience year after year become unbelivable to the point of ridiculousness. Repeatedly they "run into" each other in the most unlikely places, or realize they are in love with each other when they are otherwise involved... the scenarios began to blur after so much repetition.

Filled with inane jokes and immature behavior (lots of spitting and inserting objects into nostrils), this movie tries way too hard to be cute and fun. Despite its desperate attempts, it manages to be neither. Although the film isn't as predictable as it seems, by the time it reaches resolution, we no longer care. The film eventually leaves one simply waiting for it be over, with no actual interest in how it all turns out.

Extra Extra! Tidbits About the Movie...
*Tidbit - Ashton Kutcher has a second film in theatres now, Guess Who, also starring Bernie Mac.

*Songworthy - "Brighter Than Sunshine" by Aqualung

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