Tuesday, 22 September 2009

The Accidental Husband (2008)

This American movie which is one of this week's premieres on Sky Movies does not appear to have been released cinematically in the States -- at least I can find no U.S. press reviews of it -- and I am slightly wondering why it has been inflicted on the rest of the world. That's not to say that it wasn't a vaguely pleasant 90 minutes -- which is more than I can say about a number of movies -- but it was in the end totally dismissable.

Uma Thurman (question: is she not getting a little too old now for ditzy rom-coms?) plays a radio "love doctor", dispensing her somewhat jaded advice to the New York area audience. She is engaged to her publisher (another useless and disposable role for good-old Colin Firth). When, as a result of her phone-in advice, a Queens fireman's fiancee calls off their wedding at short notice, he wants his revenge. The fireman in question is played by an actor called Jeffrey Dean Morgan who was a total unknown to me since most of his past roles have been in American TV series which don't travel and I have not yet seen his contribution to two high-profile 2009 flicks: "Watchmen" and "Taking Woodstock". He boards with an extended family of Indians (not the Native American variety) and the young computer hacker of that family fiddles about on line and creates the paperwork to prove that Thurman is now married to Morgan, so that when she and Firth go to get their license, the records show that she is already married. Ho ho ho!

This is the sort of idiotic and flimsy plot device that can only exist in poorly conceived movies and it does not take a cinematic genius to predict the ultimate outcome. Directed by Griffin Dunne, who is a far more interesting actor than director, we viewers watch helplessly as Thurman seeks to get the relevant paperwork signed to annul this phony marriage (which any competent lawyer could have handled) whilst beginning to fall for the slobbish fireman. Poor old civilized Firth! About the only good thing in this film was the casting of Sam Shepard and Brooke Adams as Thurman's divorced parents and Isabella Rossellini and Keir Dullea as a German couple about to acquire Firth's company. The poor sap must play along with the fiction that Morgan is Thurman's fiancee and that he is her brother. Oh what jolly japes!
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