Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Tuesday's Overlooked Movies: All About Steve

Like many of you reading this, I'd heard what a dreadful movie ALL ABOUT STEVE is and what a terrible misfire it was for Sandra Bullock, so we never watched it until now. And as happens many times, I'm left scratching my head in puzzlement. ALL ABOUT STEVE isn't a great movie by any means, but I thought it was a pretty decent one.

Bullock plays a very intelligent but very eccentric crossword puzzle creator for a Sacramento newspaper. (She carries a press card identifying her as a "cruciverbalist".) She goes out on a blind date with a TV news cameraman played by Bradley Cooper and immediately falls in love with him, but he doesn't return her interest. When she loses her job at the newspaper, she decides that's a sign she's meant to be with Cooper, so she pursues him across country as he tracks down news stories with an ambitious and full-of-himself field reporter played by Thomas Haden Church. From that point on, this becomes a road movie, with lots of encounters with colorful characters and bizarre situations.

Most of the dislike for this movie seems to stem from the fact that Bullock's character basically stalks Cooper's character, and also that she's weird and annoying. So? The movie admits from the beginning that her behavior isn't normal. Despite the set-up, it becomes obvious early on that this isn't a typical romantic comedy, although it does manage to be somewhat romantic at times and also very funny at others. Most of the humor comes from Thomas Haden Church, who's playing a caricature, but he winds up being a likable one despite his flaws. I always like Sandra Bullock and the way she takes chances with some of the characters she plays, and I think she's really good in this one. Bradley Cooper doesn't get to do much but stand around and look handsome. The rest of the cast includes such character actor stalwarts as Howard Hesseman, Keith David, D.J. Qualls, and Katy Mixon.

I guess I'll just have to be out of step with the majority of the movie-watching public on this one. I liked ALL ABOUT STEVE and found it to be a lot more entertaining than I expected.


pattinase (abbott) said...

I would never have figured Bradley Cooper to turn into such an A list actor.

Albie The Good said...

I am with ya... I not only found it funny but thought it made some decent observations about the human tendency to obsession.

"You missed the bus probably because you're not meant to take it."