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DVD Review

DVD cover

I Could Never Be Your Woman


Starring: Michelle Pfeiffer, Paul Rudd, Jon Lovitz and Saoirse Ronan
High Fliers Films
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: 12
Available 14 July 2008

Rosie is a forty something television writer struggling to bring up her daughter, deal with her ex-husband and a secretary who seems hell bent on destroying her life. Even her teen show is running into trouble, until she meets Adam, a young attractive, funny actor who walks straight into her show and her heart, but can Rosie overcome her age and reticence to find happiness?...

I could never be your Woman (2007, 2 hr 16 min) is a romantic comedy, directed by Amy Heckerling from her own original script. Heckerling had previously written and directed Look Who’s Talking (1989) and Clueless (1995) and this is her first film since Loser (2000).

The film is an oddity. Considering its cast you would normally expect this to be a pretty big summer film, but instead it has come straight to DVD. Apart from Michelle Pfeiffer in the title role, the film also has Paul Rudd, Jon Lovitz and Saoirse Ronan in substantial roles, with supporting parts going to the likes of Graham Norton, David Mitchell, Steve Pemberton and Tracy Ullman. The film also sports cameo performances from Henry Winkler, Sally Kellerman, Mackenzie Crook and Fred Willard. A cast to die for indeed, though this turns out to be both a blessing and a curse for the film.

The main problem with the film is that it tries to cover too much ground. The main plot, concerning the relationship between Rosie and Adam, works well and is engagingly sweet, but suddenly gets pushed to one side so that the film's closing sequences can move back to Rosie’s relationship with her daughter. There is also a plethora of subplots to consider.

Rosie has a very open relationship with her daughter and we witness how Rosie copes with the first blooming of womanhood in Izzie and her introduction to sex and sexuality. She also has an ex-husband who is having a baby with his partner. Mother nature in the guise of Ullman pops up during the film; frankly there is too much going on.

That said the witty script keeps the plot thundering along at a reasonable pace, engaging enough so you don’t notice just how long the film is. The problem is that Heckerling occasionally seems to lose her way in this morass of ideas and whatever you think of Ullman’s acting ability her inclusion, as mother nature, is more of an unnecessary distraction than an integral part of the plot. The thing that will mostly date the film is the contemporary references, which as time goes on become increasingly irrelevant.

The cast do an excellent job with Pfeiffer able to show the vivaciousness of an older woman as well as her vulnerability. A number of my personal standout performances are delivered by Saoirse Ronan as the daughter, who handles her transition into womanhood with humour and sensitivity, and Fred Willard as Rosie’s boss, who is his hilarious self, as is John Lovitz as Rosie’s ex-husband.

I’m not usually partial to romantic comedies and while this one was far from perfect, being over busy with characters and subplots, I have to admit to liking it. It’s one of those feel good movies that makes you feel warm all over.

The review copy didn’t do the film any favours being offered in 4:3, the wrong aspect ratio, a stereo soundtrack, no menu and no extras.


Charles Packer

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