Love Stinks (1999)

Written and Directed by Jeff Franklin
Starring French Stewart, Bridgette Wilson, Bill Bellamy, Tyra Banks, Jason Bateman

My Advice: Wait and Rent It.

Seth (Stewart) is a guy who's got it all.  He's the head writer of a hit TV sitcom, he's got a great house, great friends, and he's marrying the she-bitch from hell (Wilson).  Huh?  That's exactly how his writing partner Larry (Bellamy) reacted.  In fact, they're on their way to Vegas to get Seth hitched to the she-demon, and Larry tries one last time to talk some sense into his friend.

This movie begs the question: Why do funny people make mediocre movies?  Stewart is a very funny guy, and it's thanks to him that the movie is watchable at all.  Without him, you'd realize that you should have just rented War of the Roses and left it alone.  Now I know you're asking, how can you lose with a relationship-from-hell plotline when so many people can relate?  Well, try this: The opening of the show is slow and unfunny to the point where the silence in the screening audience was deafening.  Somewhere around the middle of the movie it realized it was supposed to be a comedy and got consistently funny.  By the end it manages to rev up to gutbustingly funny.  Average that out and you get...well, average. 

In other news, Bellamy and Bateman were actually very good in their respective roles, as best friend and sitcom star.  I can't wait to see them in films where they actually get to do something.  Tyra Banks is in a thankless role and since she brings pretty much nothing to it, we don't thank her.  Wilson plays her role perfectly, which means I wanted to shoot her very quickly--which I guess in this case is a good thing.

The bottom line is that it's a shame Franklin, a veteran of TV shows, wasn't able to transition to the screen better.  Because when the movie's funny, with Stewart screaming at the top of his lungs about Wilson being the Anti-Christ, it's funny.  But when it's not funny, boy is it not funny.  Rent it.

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