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Alex and Emma (2003)

  Directed by: Rob Reiner
Written by: Jeremy Leven
Starring: Kate Hudson, Sophie Marceau, Luke Wilson
Links: Alex and Emma on the IMDb, Official site, Buy on Video, Buy on DVD
Genre: Romance

This movie gets: 4.00 (1 rating) Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

"Ziz iz me speeking wis ze German accent" - a review by pearly

Alex (Luke Wilson) is in a huge amount of debt, and has had his life threatened by the crazy people to whom he owes the money. He is given thirty days to pay up, and his only hope is to complete a novel and have it to his publisher by this time, so that he can get his advance. Having not even started yet, Alex hires Emma (Kate Hudson), a courtroom stenographer, to type up the dictated novel, realising that this is the only way that he will get it finished in time. Reluctant at first, Emma eventually agrees.

Alex and Emma is like a less clever version of Adaptation (2002), in that it examines the creative writing process. As Alex writes, the characters that he is creating appear on screen (as played by the same actors that play Alex and Emma themselves), but as the story progresses, Alex begins to change things about the characters, and these changes are then reflected in the onscreen story.

This idea, taken further, could have made for a very interesting film. In Alex and Emma, however, it was just used as background to the romantic storyline in the foreground. And it had one big negative: Kate Hudson. As the story went along, Alex changed her character in the novel from an uptight Swedish girl, to a flirtatious German, and finally settled on a homely American. This of course meant that Hudson had to act each of these out, and oh my is she bad at doing accents. My mouth sat firmly agape as she tried out her Swedish accent, but just try to picture her doing a German one. She was being so over-the-top it was not funny. I almost turned the movie off at that point and gave up on it entirely.

So, what have we learnt? Less focus on romance, more focus on the interesting creative writing process idea, and less Kate Hudson, but if that's not possible, then certainly less Kate Hudson doing bad accents.

As I won this movie on DVD, I now have the pleasure of being able to watch it whenever I like! My prediction is that I will not take it off the shelf again for another 3 years.

pearly gives this movie 4 out of 10.
Review created on Thu 22 Jan 2004

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