Male chauvinist pig finds an unexpected human and warm side to his character when he has to take over writing his girlfriend's Advice to the Lovelorn newspaper column. An implausible tale bereft of real charm.
Directors: Steve Rash
Producers: Mark Burg, Oren Koules, Randal Emmett, George Furla, Arthur Chang
Writers: Daniel Margosis, Robert Horn
Features: Choice of soundtrack 2.0 Dolby or 5.1 Dolby, Trailer gallery, Audio commentary by director, Interactive menus
Ryan Turner - Charlie Sheen
Cindy - Denise Richards
Page Turner - Angie Harmon
BArry - Jon Lovitz
Artisan is one of my favourite DVD producers. Though their product is sometimes bare-bones when it comes to special features and such, their transfers are usually meticulous -- and their titles are often the hard-to-find, non-commercial material so many of us crave.
This comedy though is a relative dud. It starts off well by doing something more companies should emulate -- by letting us choose between a butchered pan-and-scan version of the film, or a beautiful widescreen anamorphic transfer. No prizes for guessing my choice.
And the actors are just fine -- Charlie Sheen, the very beautiful Denise 'Wild Things' Richards, and the equally luscious Angie Harmon. With a cast like that, there should be no room for error.
The implausible plot should have made for an ok movie as well. Charlie is shacked up with Denise, who writes a column, Leave it to Cindy, for a struggling newspaper. Charlie, who at this stage is a very nasty piece of work indeed, loses all his cash by trying to profit from insider share trading. Denise leaves him for a Brazilian who says he owns a diamond mine. Charlie is destitute. For survival, he starts writing her newspaper column, while pretending Denise is too ill to leave her apartment. And he falls in love with the newspaper's beatiful editor. And writing the column makes him connect to the decent person hiding within his repulsive shell. All very cute indeed.
But what could have been a nice light comedy is constantly dragged down by intrusion of gross vulgarity out of kilter with the basic nature of the movie. Just one example -- is it necessary for a character's wife to thank him for making her lots of money by giving him a blow-job? For a film whose basic premise is about vulnerability and heightened feeling, this sort of thing jars. It's as if there was one or two too many producers, with no-one having a single coherent view of just what this film was about.
Still, Denise Richards is always suitably Denise Richards-ish, and Angie Harmon is very nice eye-candy indeed. Not enough to redeem the film as a whole, but at least enough to make the viewing experience not totally wasted.
ANTHONY CLARKE (email@example.com)