Movies like Because I Said So make even the most hardened film critics question what they are doing with their lives. I had that thought roll through my head at least a half dozen times as I witnessed this disaster. Not since Domino have I out-and-out detested a film this much. From the idiotic premise to the mindless babble some like to call dialogue to the god-awful slapstick to the canine reaction shots to the horrible singing to the disgusting, racial stereotypes and sex talk that no one has, there is enough to hate to go around for the next three Uwe Boll flicks combined.
The “premise:” Aging, single Daphne (Keaton) is the proud mother of three daughters: psychologist Maggie (Graham), weirdo Mae (Perabo), and young, adorable Milly (Moore). While Maggie and Mae seem to have their lives together, Milly’s is one train wreck after another – especially in the relationship department. Convinced Milly is headed down a path of loneliness, Daphne places an ad in the online personals so she can first meet Milly’s prospective dates. Things appear to work, at least at first. Milly soon finds two men attracted to her; wealthy architect Jason (Scott) and musician Johnny (Macht). It’s only a matter of time until the secret gets out.
Apparently retrieved from a dumpster, labeled “Rejected Sitcom Brain Farts,” at the Universal back lot and Scotch-taped back together, the screenplay can only be described as a crime against moviegoers worldwide. First off, how can we buy, let alone entertain, the absurd notion that any guy would not run for his life upon finding out the personal they were answering in fact belonged to their prospective date’s mother? This is the kind of stuff guys have nightmares about. I suppose it halfway makes sense since not a single character in this film hails from any known universe. The dialogue is amongst the most cringe-worthy this decade (“I love that when I breathe you in you smell of cake batter”) and characters talk over one another as if the whole thing was improvised to begin with.
Worst of all is the acting, which can only be summed up as a colossal embarrassment for every last person involved. Never have I seen Diane Keaton stretch this much for laughs, and unfortunately she doesn’t get many. Her overacting is almost a marvel until you realize just how annoying she is. Mercifully her character loses her voice for the middle portion of the film (I almost stopped tying the noose at this point), but then she gets a big “I know I’m crazy but I love you guys!” scene with her daughters. At that point I believe I punched myself in the face.
The supporting cast is just as appalling, for the most part. Mandy Moore, who was hilarious in 2004’s Saved!, comes across as desperate from the opening frame, not to mention she is a lousy physical comedian. Lauren Graham and Piper Perabo really serve no purpose whatsoever to the screenplay, so they can go. Tom Everett Scott does his best with his empty character, but it’s to no avail. Alas, it’s only Gabriel Macht as Johnny who makes any sort of a real impression. Of course he would be the musical outcast of the film.
Because I Said So is the most loathsome film so far this year and one of the worst romantic comedies ever made. It’s amazing how the genre can deliver such gifts (Love Actually) and such putridity (this, Must Love Dogs). I urge everyone to avoid this garbage heap.
Studio: Universal Pictures
Length: 102 Minutes
Rating: PG-13 for sexual content including dialogue, some mature thematic material and partial nudity.
Theatrical Release: February 2, 2007
Directed by: Michael Lehmann
Written by: Karen Leigh Hopkins & Jessie Nelson.
Cast: Diane Keaton, Mandy Moore, Gabriel Macht, Tom Everett Scott, Lauren Graham, Piper Perabo