A Lot Like Love
For a predictable, standard run-of-the-mill Harry Meets Sally storyline, this flick was pretty good. The movie opens with a promiscuous Emily (Amanda Peet) making a move on Oliver (Ashton Kutcher); which should have given me an indication of the fast-paced activity that was to follow.
To keep the movie going, Oliver pursues Emily through New York City to establish a connection between them. From this point on the movie progresses with the characters being presented to us again, in new stages of their lives, after various intervals of time. This periodic separation and reconnecting not only helped the flow of the movie, but I think is also indicative of the rapid and sometimes drastic changes that people (particularly younger adults) go through in their lives. It also brought out the main theme of the movie which was that love isn't always obvious, especially to those who are in the midst of it. Both main characters seemed to spend much of their time denying their feelings for each other, or at a minimum, found the most inopportune times to express them. The movie also does a good job of reflecting how our lives, in today's world, can throw many obstacles into the path of what is really important -- relationships.
The movie had several humorous spots that kept you laughing and after each break in time I found myself eagerly waiting to see how the main characters lives had changed. How was Oliver doing in achieving his "plan"? Was Emily still chasing after musicians? This added a little suspense that helped separate this movie from similar Harry Meets Sally genre.
Overall I enjoyed the film. After all, at a minimum, who could not be mesmerized by Amanda Peets' eyes? I particularly liked the desert scene as I thought the nudity was handled well and I believe this scene really contributed to our understanding of the characters and their continuing dilemma.
I was somewhat disappointed by the director's predictability. There were few scenes that I did not know how they would end within a few moments of their beginnings. I realize that the film was not designed to be a major thought provoker, yet I had hoped for a bit more originality in how the scenes played out. This is generally irritating to my daughter as I sit there in the dark of the theater, munching on popcorn, and proceed to tell her how each scene will end.
Though I was annoyed with the predictability of the plot, I did enjoy the film. Kutcher was acceptable and Peet exceeded my expectations, bringing better acting that I would expect in a threadbare plot. The reality of life and its changing nature over time, along with the miscued love story, was worth the price of admission and would make a good date night flick. But don't look for any deep message in the movie. It is pretty straight forward and requires little intellect to stay up with the plot.