After his great success writing, directing, and starring in the
low budget flick THE BROTHERS MCMULLEN, Edward Burns is back. This
time he has a Hollywood bankrolled film, but he keeps his comedic
sights set on his favorite subjects: Catholic male angst, infidelity,
and most of all, sex - particularly the lack thereof. Given that most
of the cast leads return, you can excuse the audience if they think the
film is THE BROTHERS MCMULLEN PART 2. Actually, this time the story is
different and the brothers have changed their last name to Fitzpatrick.
As the story unfolds, brothers Mickey (Edward Burns) and Francis
(Mike McGlone also his brother in BROTHERS 1, I mean in THE BROTHERS
MCMULLEN) are verbally sparring with their dad (John Mahoney from
PRIMAL FEAR and THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT) on their regular fishing trip.
The dad ridicules them by calling them girls, and they generally trade
one-liners with each other.
The one-liners are both the strength and the weakness of the film.
Burns has millions of them in his head and having no self-control puts
all of them in the script. Some work, and some don't. The ones that
do are terrific and the main reason to see the picture. Unfortunately,
one-liners do not a relationship make. The characters are all
interesting individually, and yet none are compelling or involving.
With life reduced to one-liners, they have no way to develop a
chemistry with each other or with the audience.
Francis is a chain smoking stock broker worth a lot of money. He
even has a limo to drive him to work everyday. Poor Mickey is just a
Brooklyn cab driver, but claims to be happy. Francis taunts him with,
"Big deal, you're happy. You're never going to make any real money."
Francis is married to his work. When his wife Renee (Jennifer
Aniston) wants to have sex, he tells her basically to take a number.
He is too busy right now working in bed with his laptop. He is also
having an affair with fellow stock broker Heather (Cameron Diaz who was
so great as Jude in THE LAST SUPPER).
One day, Mickey picks up a fare appropriately named Hope (Maxine
Bahns from THE BROTHERS McMULLEN), and they get married the next day.
Francis thinks this is stupid, and chides him with, "Romance is great,
but I just want to remind you, it don't pay the bills."
Mostly the show ignores religion other than talking about the
unseen Mrs. Fitzpatrick's daily church attendance. One time, however,
when their dad thinks something happened that the church would not
approve of, a perplexed Mickey inquires, "Why are you getting so upset
Dad? You don't even believe in God." The angry father snaps back,
"That doesn't mean I'm going to stop being a good Catholic."
All in all, the show is an enjoyable but shallow little comedy
signifying nothing. The one-liners frequently work, and actors are
good, but trapped in their material.
My favorite is Cameron Diaz, who has extremely captivating eyes.
Based on her work in THE LAST SUPPER, she is probably the most talented
of the lot. Mahoney is a fine, but colorless supporting actor. The
others have promise, but the jury is out. Here they did an excellent
job of reading their jokes and entertaining me, but none of them were
SHE'S THE ONE runs a fast 1:36. It is rated R solely because they
use the F word a few times. This is much tamer show than this year's
PG-13 rated THE NUTTY PROFESSOR which was non-stop foul language, but
used every cuss word except the F word. In SHE'S THE ONE, there is no
violence, no nudity although there are a lot of missing bras, and no
sex although they do talk about it incessantly. It would be fine for
any teenager. I give the show a mild thumbs up as it was funny in
parts and entertaining, and award it ** 1/2.
Copyright © 1996 Steve Rhodes