Welcome to a new feature here on WOTN, the Random Movie Review! How does it work? Easy! On Wikipedia, we click on Random Article. We then take the title of that random article, plug it into the Netflix search bar, and watch the lowest rated movie in the search result. We hope you appreciate what we go through for our loyal readers.
Random Wikipedia Article: Bread & Butter Bakeshop
Lowest Rated Netflix Movie: Beauty and the Briefcase
Never before has a romantic comedy worked so hard to make me hate the main character this much. Hilary Duff stars in this TV movie about a young woman a little too eager to snag a man. But being a freelance fashion writer means that all the men she meets are taken, jerks, or gay. What is a stunning, shallow, and self-centered blonde in the middle of New York supposed to do to meet eligible men?
Join a club? Hit the club scene? Go to a Yankees game? Ask her girlfriends to set her up with someone? Sign up for eHarmony? What ridiculous suggestions! Clearly she must go undercover at a finance company!
OK let me start with some positives. I am so excited about this project. I love the randomness of just picking a movie and giving it a go. You never really know when you might find a diamond in the rough. That being said, this was not one. The one positive for the Hilary Duff helmed Beauty and the Briefcase, is that (spoiler alert) the nerd gets the girl. Unfortunately, everything leading up to this point is painfully bad.
I personally have nothing against Hilary Duff, but she does not have the chops to carry a movie and that is what she is asked to do here. Her acting is obvious and over done and, though there are some great cameos and supporting cast in this film, it really just felt like everyone was trying too hard. The film itself is a standard romcom film, lacking any real imagination and with plot that you can see coming from a million miles away. Seeing as how romcoms are targeted at women I could not help but think that if I was a woman I would be offended by the way they are portrayed in the film. Duff’s character is ditzy, though she is supposed to a journalist, and she is like man crazy to the point of irritating. I mean it is just one bad cliché after the other and really does nothing to endear you to the characters. Ultimately the movie was just dull and unnecessary. If you want to fall to sleep to something one day, then you could throw this on, but I think you could probably find better movies to fall asleep to.
I find it hard to be mad at this movie. It did not give me anything to be completely upset at. The script is as by the numbers as they come, but it is competently made. The directing is not good, but proficient. Acting is not good, but it is not bad enough to upset me. If it were a terrible movie, I would rage a lot harder than I am now. To me, it’s just mediocre and nothing really worth getting pissed about.
It is a weird movie to comment on. I’m having trouble remembering what happens in it. I know Hilary Duff plays a fashion writer who always wanted to work for Cosmopolitan. I know that she is doing research on for a dating article about dating coworkers. She chooses to date a person that matches a mythical list of good attributes, but falls for the person that’s the total opposite of what she is looking for. The other details are falling out of my head as I write this. She also gets everything she wants, whether or not she deserves it or not. I cannot remember what is going on beyond that.
The problem with the movie is that there is no conflict. There are no major roadblocks in her way between the first minute and the last minute of the movie. She does not learn a real life lesson, like by sticking to her principles, she loses the Cosmo job, but found a deeper meaning. Nope, it’s just a minor little thing that gets in the way and she steps over it. Hilary Duff might me manipulative to some degree, but she does not come off as evil in any way. She comes off as privileged.
It pains me to say this, but How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days is the better version of this movie. That movie has more character growth, more manipulation, and better pacing. It also has a main character who’s being thwarted by a savvy boyfriend who realizes it’s research of some kind, or too stupid to take the hint.
Mark and Rebecca’s Commentary
Mark: Just because Sex in the City works with a whiny white chick voice over, in order to tell, not show, it is not a device that works for everything.
Hilary Duff’s Internal Monologue: I’m an undercover journalist! I’ll be like that girl who pretended to be a Playboy bunny!
Rebecca: Gloria Steinem.
Jaime Pressly: You’ll be like Woodward and Bernstein.
Hilary Duff: Yes! Or like that girl who-
Rebecca: Gloria fucking Steinem! Are you really going to reference Gloria Steinem?
Mark: How is anybody supposed to relate to three girls playing “go fish” with 5x7s of half naked men? Is this what women do when they get together?
Rebecca: Sexual objectification! It’s okay, because we’re girls, tee hee!!
Mark: Do you know what they usually call the girl who goes out for drinks with eight different guys from the same office on eight consecutive nights?
Rebecca: What, she’s just getting paid to date as many men as possible. I don’t know what you could possibly- Ooooohhhh.
Mark: Pretty sure saying that your assistant showing off her ass in the middle of a meeting was the highlight of said meeting is grounds for a sexual harassment complaint.
Rebecca: And she’s got that chart at her desk of all the male employees and how cute their butts are! Sexual harassment! It’s okay when girls do it, tee hee!!
Mark: Oh sure, giving the major presentation to the new girl who has been proven to be lying about her qualifications is bound to work out well.
Rebecca: I was going to call her out as a Mary Sue, but then I remembered she only did the “visuals,” and didn’t contribute anything of substance or genuine value. And she was late!
Mark: There would be a lot less tension in these movies if people remembered that Kinkos has delivery.
Mark: A FUCKING STANDING OVATION?! He should have been fired and she should have been escorted out by security!
Rebecca: The true hero of the movie? This girl, right here.
Rebecca: The professional, qualified woman with scruples who gets her job stolen by Hilary Duff. And then she gets candy thrown at her for her troubles.
Mark: Lesson learned: as long as you look cute, it doesn’t matter if your resume is more fictional than a Fox News Editorial.