Film I've noticed lately that I've become a bit of a film snob. There are some films which I've actively been avoiding because the reviews have been utterly poor, or even worse, they're just for teenagers. So I'll go out of my way to see some low budget German film about homelessness but I'd rather be homeless than see 2 Fast 2 Furious. The problem with this approach is that if I'd applied it to eighties films, I would have been too busy watching Kieslowski's Decalog to care about Ferris Bueller, The Breakfast Club or Adventures In Babysitting.

Which is way I'm glad I finally rented Just Married. This is not a great film. Structurally, the flashbacking works against our connection with the characters and in places some of the dialogue clunks around with exposition and placeholders made celluloid. But it is a film that you really don't mind watching over and over because in places it's just majestic. Sound like a certain eighties teen film we all know?

It's mostly redeemed by the chemistry and timing of the two leads. Ashton Kulcher has clunked about in precious movies, but here he comes across as a young John Cusack gone Gap advert. He is able to play farce very well as the situation slowly drifts away from him, his manic attempts to take control of the situation a joy. But he has a great woman supporting him. Brittany Murphy's sultry turn in 8 Mile doesn't really prepare you for just how endearing she is here. I was always selling Monica Potter as a likely successor to Julia Robert's crown. Murphy has stolen that candidacy. Like Roberts, she has the ability to make the viewer smile just by grinning herself. She's also a frame stealer; even in the background your eyes are watching her as she listens and reacts to whatever's happening in the foreground. This is the same girl who was in Clueless?

It?s the physical comedy which marks this film over some others. Whereas in something like American Pie, where moments are carefully set up and it's your reaction as they play out, here it's the unexpected. Doors slam in people's faces, balls bang into people's heads, walls are fallen through, heads knock together. And it's the indomnitability of the leads which make most of this happen, their reactions.

The trouble is that because of the reliance of the leads to perform (in a sports way) it just falls apart in places. There is a subplot in which a possible ex-fiance of the girl turns up at their honeymoon and tries to steal her away. But he?s a rerun of the Billy Zane character from Titanic and just as one dimensional. We know Murphy won't possibly fall for him and the tension isn?t there. Similarly there doesn?t appear to be any reason Kulcher asks an American girl up to his hotel room other than so that Murphy can suspect that he has been unfaithful. And so that last ten minutes of the film largely fall apart because the Hollywood machine kicks into play and creates a needless positive ending, which you can guess.

Also I can't see why we needed to see anything outside the funeral. Everyone one of the characters back home feels surplace to requirements, and there isn't any exposition which couldn?t have been told inventively to people they met on the trip. I would have like to have seen the film end as the plane takes off at the airport back to the US, perhaps offering a moment between them demonstrating that there is some hope. The final ten minutes of the piece are nothing like anything in the rest of the film which is a real shame.

But I do want to see it again, because when it's good, it's very good, and it feels just like those eighties comedies, only with a bigger budget. So it'll probably end up in my DVD collection when I've bought all the affortmention. Besides, there is really good joke which feels like it's been invited in from the Channel 4 sitcom Spaced, so really can't be all bad.

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