06 March 2017

She's the One (starring Edward Burns and Mike McGlone)

From time to time I browse the recommendations on Amazon, wondering what new books or DVDs might be recommended. In one such exploration, they suggested I might like this film: it’s twenty years old but I hadn’t previously heard of it. Reviews were mixed, but I quite like some of the actors mentioned, so I put it on my wishlist and was given it for Christmas.

‘She’s the One’ is about two Italian-American brothers called Micky (Edward Burns) and Francis (Mike McGlone). Their father is likeable but quite controlling, and this has led to them veering in different directions career-wise. Micky, who is mostly quite laid-back, is a taxi driver in New York, while Francis has become a high-flying and materialistic businessman.

We soon learn that Francis is married to an attractive woman (Jennifer Aniston) but has mostly lost interest in her, apparently because he spends so much time working, even taking his computer to bed. Micky is not married. He was once engaged, but walked out on his fiancee after he found her in a compromising position with someone else…

To say more would be a spoiler in a film that’s rather low on plot anyway; the two main subplots (a new romance for Micky, and the reason why Francis rejects his wife’s advances) are so bizarre in their detail that they provide the main interest. I’m glad we didn’t read the back of the DVD case, as it gives the entire plot in a couple of sentences.

We were a bit bemused at first, as unlikely events started rolling out. Mickey seems like a likeable person, although as we gradually discover, he and his brother have a love-hate relationship that involves a lot of jealousies and rivalry. Francis, however, is one of the most unpleasant, self-centred characters I can recall seeing on a film of this kind. He does not seem to have any redeeming features; he even chain smokes.

Cameron Diaz plays another extremely selfish and unpleasant character, one who made me cringe in almost every scene involving her. Chemistry is lacking between the various couples, and to have two out of the five principles dislikable made it a strange film to watch.

On the plus side, the pace of the film is good; it’s just over an hour and a half long, and it doesn’t flag. There are some amusing lines too, several that made us smile and one or two that made us chuckle. The ending is positive and encouraging, at least as far as one of the storylines goes.

The amount of bad language and innuendo is excessive in my view and in most cases unnecessary, other than to give this a 15 rating (R in the United States) despite minimal violence and no overt sexuality or nudity. I can’t imagine it would appeal to anyone under the age of 15 anyway.

As a commentary on modern society (or, at any rate, the society of the mid-1990s when this was produced) it's a bit depressing, but perhaps the conclusion makes up for it.

Review by copyright 2017 Sue's DVD Reviews