All About SteveThursday 14 Jan 2010
I thought things had taken a turn for the worst with 'Did You Hear About the Morgans?' a new rom-com starring Sarah Jessica Parker and Hugh Grant, but I hadn't seen anything yet.
'All About Steve' takes the genre to a new low, which is really saying something. One of the most misconceived concepts of all time, the film sees Sandra Bullock star as Mary Magdalene Horowitz, an unconventional, socially awkward crossword puzzle creator, who falls for the eponymous Steve (Cooper) after being set up on a blind date with him.
She then proceeds to stalk him as he goes about his job as a cable network cameraman. Steve does his best to politely rebuff her advances, but his colleague, the cheesy news reporter Hartman Hughes (Church), fuels her desire by telling her that Steve loves her.
As she trails Steve at work, Mary gets herself in several scrapes, including driving into a tornado and jumping into a mine-hole which a group of hearing-impaired children had fallen into.
Apart from the utterly humourless script, ludicrous premise and frequent jumps of logic, the film also suffers from the charmless performances of its two leading stars. It is an especially big disappointment from 'The Hangover's Bradley Cooper, who was the epitome of laidback cool in what was easily the best comedy of 2009. Here, he has zero to work with and the best he can hope for is that his fans give this one a miss.
Bullock has gone for full-on quirkiness as Mary, whose character development doesn't go much further than: She loves crossword puzzles, and the red patent boots which never leave her feet.
Not even Ken Yeong, who has provided ample laughs in small roles in the likes of 'The Hangover', 'Knocked Up' and 'Pineapple Express', offers any comic relief.
If the jokes fall flat in 'All About Steve', what falls even flatter are the forced analogies between crossword puzzles and life which run throughout the film. These will leave you squirming with embarrassment in your seat.
Not in the 'so bad it's good' category, just one to avoid altogether.