Pin It

Because I Said So 

Movie Review

I've been giving it a great deal of thought, and have come to the conclusion that the squandering of Diane Keaton's screen legacy is without parallel in the annals of cinema. Has another performer trashed a great career as cavalierly, as deliberately, as unnecessarily?

Think about it: This is an actress who made immortal comedies alongside Woody Allen. Play It Again Sam, Manhattan, Annie Hall, for God's sake, and the list goes on. Then she took an astonishing turn for the dramatic and did acclaimed work in some of the era's most important films - Reds, Looking For Mr. Goodbar and a couple of other pictures you may remember - The Godfather I and II.

How does one leave that sort of professional orbit and plummet fireball-style into the realm of Baby Boom and Father of the Bride without knowing one is doing so?

But there was much worse to come - Town & Country, Hanging Up, The Family Stone and now, Because I Said So, by far the most appallingly cretinous picture in which Keaton has ever appeared.

A by-the-numbers chick flick about a meddling mom who plays matchmaker for her youngest daughter (Mandy Moore), the movie lacks even trace amounts of originality or wit. No cliché of the genre goes untapped, no twist or turn of the plot un-telegraphed. It's every dumb romantic comedy ever made rolled into one.

Keaton's character takes out a personal ad, interviews a series of predictably geekish respondents, and narrows the field down to a hunky but self-satisfied architect (Tom Everett Scott). He and Moore hit it off, but the young woman meets another, completely different sort of guy (Gabriel Macht) at about the same time, and takes up with him, too. He's a musician and single father. He doesn't make as much money as the architect, but he's more spontaneous and sensitive. Moore's character is at this point the only person in the theater who doesn't know with 100 percent certainty which one she'll choose.

And very likely the only one who cares. This is stunningly awful stuff, even for February. How sad to watch Keaton resort to slapstick again and again. For some reason never revealed to the audience, she is constantly carrying elaborate cakes from one place to another and, well, you know the Bad Movie Rules. Two of the most inviolable: If there's a pool, someone will fall into it. If there are big fancy baked goods, they will be smooshed into faces, dropped on people's heads and prat-fallen upon. The actress' latest features every conceivable variation on the Bad Movie cake gag, and not a single one is amusing.

And before you offer the "What do you expect, there aren't any good roles for actresses past a certain age" defense for the trajectory of the 61-year-old's career, consider the quality of the work being done these days by people like Julie Christie, Charlotte Rampling, Sissy Spacek, Meryl Streep, Helen Mirren and Judi Dench. Diane Keaton's problem isn't the passing of time. It's all the times she could and should have passed but didn't.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

Pin It

More by Rick Kisonak

About The Author

Rick Kisonak

Rick Kisonak

Rick Kisonak is a film reviewer for Seven Days.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Seven Days moderates comments in order to ensure a civil environment. Please treat the comments section as you would a town meeting, dinner party or classroom discussion. In other words, keep commenting classy! Read our guidelines...

Note: Comments are limited to 300 words.

Latest in Category

Recent Comments

Social Club

Like Seven Days contests and events? Join the club!

See an example of this newsletter...

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative

All content © 2016 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So Champlain St Ste 5, Burlington, VT 05401
Website powered by Foundation