Because I Said So

"Bad"

Because I Said So Review


How did we get here? Michael Lehmann's career seemed like one of those no-brainers, destined to slowly pour a mixture of cyanide, ammonia, and pop rocks into the drinking well of modern teen romps and romantic comedies. A debut film tends to state a director's intentions, and Heathers was the sort of debut that said "lock up your prom dresses and get out your garter belts, this ain't gonna be pretty." Somewhere, these intentions were lost like a mentally ill turtle that surprisingly found itself in the toilet bowl.

Heathers sashayed into theaters in 1989 and since then, Lehmann has turned in nothing but guilty pleasures and unfathomable duds. In hindsight, one could have never seen the man behind Hudson Hawk, My Giant, 40 Days and 40 Nights, and The Truth About Cats & Dogs also being responsible for one of the most influential films of the 1980's. But here we are: 18 years after Heathers, Lehmann reduces his talent to a spasmodic headache about... sweet Jesus, you got me.

At the age of 60, Daphne (Diane Keaton) has married off two of her three children with the help of her successful catering business and no help from a long gone husband. The only daughter left is Milli (Mandy Moore), a quirky but brilliant chef who helps run the catering business. When her desperate attempts to hook Milli up don't turn up any fruitful leads, Daphne heads to the web and posts an ad for her to interview men to date her daughter. In a particular misfire, Daphne goes through all the interviewees (Guess what? One of them doesn't speak English!) and only comes up with one charmer, an architect named Jason (Tom Everett Scott). She thinks she's found gold, but a rather quixotic guitar player named Johnny (Gabriel Macht) also nabs Milli's business card. Let the games begin!

With the usual ruminations on safety vs. spontaneity and charm vs. personality, Because I Said So (the title is referenced ad nauseum) spends an inordinate amount of time attempting to find a foothold. A film with these clichés and awkward exposition can usually be saved by plot structure, pacing and tone but Lehmann seems to lose grasp of every single virtue he has, including his solid cast. Keaton usually can do no harm but here her neurotic scream-to-stutter charm wears thin within the first half-hour and only gets worse from there. This becomes particularly dangerous when she becomes lustful for Johnny's father (Stephen Collins going 180 degrees from his 7th Heaven days).

The one note of interest is the frank sexual talk that Daphne has with Milli and her other daughters (amiably played by Lauren Graham and Piper Perabo). If this was played up in Jessie Nelson and Karen Leigh Hopkins' meandering script, there's no telling what kind of devil's pie Lehmann could have served up. Maybe it was just a fluke that Lehmann got attached to Daniel Waters' sublime script for Heathers. (The talent is in the blood: Daniel's younger brother Mark directed Mean Girls.) Because I Said So even seems scattershot and misbegotten by normal romantic comedy standards and those are about as high as the plywood clown in front of the ferris wheel.

Tastes like chicken.



Because I Said So

Facts and Figures

Run time: 102 mins

In Theaters: Friday 2nd February 2007

Box Office USA: $42.6M

Distributed by: Universal Pictures

Production compaines: Universal Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 5%
Fresh: 7 Rotten: 148

IMDB: 5.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Daphne, as Milly, as Johnny, as Jason, as Maggie, as Mae, as Joe, Ty Panitz as Lionel, Matt Champagne as Eli, Colin Ferguson as Derek, as Stuart

Contactmusic


Links


Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.