Thursday 1 December 2011

Movie Review: He Said, She Said (1991)

A lightweight romantic comedy plays with an interesting premise, achieves little, and walks away leaving a mildly irritating impression. He Said, She Said is a talented cast mostly wasted with a dearth of ideas.

Dan (Kevin Bacon) and Lorie (Elizabeth Perkins) meet as young and competing reporters working for the same newspaper. He is a wild womanizer with shoot-from-the-hip opinions, she is seeking a more mature relationship and has more considered opinions. Opposites attract, and eventually they embark on a romance while gaining increased career fame as duelling columnists and TV personalities. But their differing levels of willingness to commit to a common future catches up with them and the relationship crashes publicly with Lorie throwing a mug at Dan's head on-air.

Script writer Brian Hohlfeld has spent a career writing material for various children's Winnie The Pooh type movies. With real humans and adult emotions he is unfortunately out of his depth. He Said, She Said is rarely funny, only tepidly romantic, and the challenges faced by Dan and Lorie and bland in the extreme: she doesn't wash her coffee cup! He doesn't want to commit! It's all fascinatingly unoriginal, and faced with a script lacking in any spark, co-directors Ken Kwapis and Marisa Silver can inject little life into the proceedings.

The one gimmick is in telling the relationship story, all in flashback, twice over: the first half of the movie represents Dan's viewpoint, while the second half replays the same events but from Lorie's perspective, with sometimes not so subtle differences in their respective recollection of events. While the technique is somewhat engaging, the sad truth is that there is barely enough of a story here to be told once, let alone twice.

Kevin Bacon and Elizabeth Perkins do their best, but they come across as more likely to be friendly work colleagues than lovers, and neither can bring any conviction into the romance. Sharon Stone does a fly-by as one of Dan's more serious and durable of many sex partners, but she is really just playing Sharon Stone, able to crush any competing woman with a single cold stare.

He Said, She Said, but nothing interesting was actually said.

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