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All About Steve


Stars: Sandra Bullock, Thomas Haden Church, Bradley Cooper, Ken Jeong, D J Qualls, Howard Hesseman, Keith David, Beth Grant, Kathy Mixon, M C Gainey, Holmes Osborne, Delaney Hamilton, Jason Jone, Carlos Gomez

Director: Phil Traill

Nice title, shame about the film

A while ago board a plane I suffered a slice of super-saturated saccharine called Because of Wynn-Dixie, thinking it would save me a trip to the cinema. I was double-crossed, though, because the distributors wisely left it unreleased in the UK. I should have learned my lesson but sadly failed to do so: flying back to England a week ago the only English language film on board that I hadn’t seen was All About Steve. By the time it ended I was certain it would never see the light of day. Instead 20th Century Fox double-crossed me and I saw it again out of a sense of duty on the big screen which simply magnified its many deficiencies.

First and most prominent of these is Bullock, with her portrait of a kooky crossword compiler stalking TV news cameraman Cooper after misreading his signals on a blind date. She is so truly irritating that even St Francis of Assisi might be inclined to do away with her.

The progressively silly story throws her down a huge hole in the ground and then, sadly, misses an opportunity for a happy ending by saving her. Nothing, however, could save this witless load of bullocks which wastes film stock, time and the audience’s patience with its increasingly witless progression. Haden Church hams it up, Cooper goes through his paces with the expression of someone who would (like I was) rather be somewhere else. So who is to blame? Co producer Bullock? Director Phil Traill? Scenarist Kim Barker? Who cares? But be ready to blame yourself if you waste time and money on this derisory twaddle.

Alan Frank

USA 2009. UK Distributor: 20th Century Fox. Colour by deluxe.
101 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 17 Jan 2010