Don’t bother seeing this film; Why? ‘Because I Said So’

Fri, 02/09/2007 - 3:37pm
By: Emily Baldwin

I went into “Because I Said So” this week with the hope that it would be fun and entertaining, a fluffy little piece of warm-fuzzy for the Valentine’s Day season. I wasn’t asking for anything too spectacular or life changing. I wasn’t looking for some life lesson or the answer to any of life’s problems, really. I just wanted a nice two hour recess from the stress of everyday life. Instead I got two hours of ridiculous scenarios, cliche characters and an overwhelming sense of buyer’s remorse. Okay, so maybe not overwhelming, but I did find myself thinking about the two hours of my life I could never get back.

“Because I Said So” tells the story of an overbearing mother, Daphne, (Diane Keaton) who is constantly pushing her daughter, Milly, (Mandy Moore) toward men who she deems acceptable in the hopes that Milly will settle down and avoid making the same mistakes she did. Daphne takes her meddling to a new level when she takes out a personal ad on her daughter’s behalf and picks a suitor that fits her straight-laced criteria.

I could go on about some of the plot points of the story, but what’s the point? Anyone who has seen the previews has seen most of the highlights (if you could call them that) of the film, and anything else would be a waste of time and space.

“Because I Said So” is a disappointment in a big way. It’s inappropriate at times, shallow and not all that funny. One of the first scenes of the film features Daphne calling Milly to find out how her current sexual exploit is coming along. If that isn’t bad enough, she then puts Milly on speaker-phone so her sisters, Maggie and Mae (Lauren Graham and Piper Perabo), can be in on the conversation, all of this during Mae’s wedding reception!

I’m a huge fan of Keaton. From “Annie Hall” to “Something’s Gotta Give,” I have enjoyed her work for years, but I have to say seeing her sign on for such a bad film makes me question her competence a little. And of the few females to rise from the late '90s bubblegum pop era into a viable actress and musician, what was she thinking?

My only hope is that between the time the contracts were signed and the time the film saw its last bit of editing, most of the good stuff found its way to the cutting room floor; how else to explain why two solid actresses would sign up for such dreck?

As for Graham and Perabo, they haven’t made too many forays onto the silver screen, so I will judge their competence less harshly. Graham, who I love from the TV show “Gilmore Girls” is perhaps the best part of the movie. Her scenes are some of the funnier ones in the film, although all told they add up to about 10 minutes. Perabo has even less screen time and when she is in a scene she seems more like a pretty extra, who smiles and nods her head, but only has a line or two.

Screenwriters Karen Leigh Hopkins and Jessie Nelson, who teamed up for the 1998 film “Stepmom,” missed the mark on this one, and ended up looking like they wrote the script based off a “Screenwriting for Dummies” book. Nelson has a few good films beyond “Stepmom” to her credit, including “Corrina, Corrina” and “I Am Sam,” so it’s difficult for me to understand how such a talented writer and such great actresses all produced something so vapid.

You’re better off renting a classic and cozying up at home for Valentine’s Day.


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