Alphabetical Movie – Heartbreakers
If you have never heard of Heartbreakers, have no fear. You are part of that rather large contingent of people who looked at the movie poster and figured that any movie with Sigourney Weaver and Gene Hackman in it couldn’t help but be ruined by the presence of Jennifer Love Hewitt. The assumption is fair.
Hewitt does not, in fact ruin the movie but neither can she elevate it above a rather bland romantic comedy/confidence game movie that is notable more for being Anne Bancroft’s final film than it is for anything else. It is one of those movies that falls squarely in the “I’m glad I saw it once but I’ve never needed to see it again” category.
What I found most interesting on my re-watching of the film was the presence of Sarah Silverman and Zach Galifinakis in the supporting “quirky friends of one of the main character” roles. I don’t know why I would find it interesting. Their combined screen time is less time than Silverman spends singing about her sex life with Matt Damon.
(I just linked to the video because the song makes me laugh)
It makes one think about all the quirky best friends that romantic comedies have provided us with over the years. At the time Heartbreakers came out, Galifinakis and Silverman were both stars on the rise. It would take a little while before we could all look back and say “what the hell are those two doing standing at a bar and delivering three lines in a two hour movie?”
That is a far cry from the quirky best friends in When Harry met Sally. Sally’s quirky best friend is Princess freakin’ Leia!
Actually, Ryan deals with some diminishing returns in the best friend department. In Sleepless in Seattle, her quirky friend is Rosie O’Donnell. O’Donnell does have a talk show but in the “out lesbians with a talk show” category, she is totally eclipsed by Ellen Degeneres. Also, she is most definitely not Princess Leia.
By the time we get to French Kiss, Ryan has ditched the quirky best friend alltogether.
I own all three of those movies, by the way.
Yes, I have a problem.
What? I don’t own Addicted to Love so lay off.
Quirky best friends seems to be the key to a good romantic comedy. Use them well and the film works in spite of a couple of A-list stars being shoehorned into romantic lead roles (Four Weddings and a Funeral). Use them poorly and all you can see is two beautiful people failing to tell one another the one thing that would allow their relationship to move forward while the audience shouts “just tell him that you are his son’s elementary school teacher – there is no reason that should be an obstacle to your happiness and it doesn’t even make any sense why you want to keep it a secret!”
In Heartbreakers, they have freakin’ Sarah Silverman and Zach Galifinakis. That is pretty cool. Maybe not Princess Leia cool but still – pretty cool.
Talk about two actors who could crank the quirky best friend role to eleven! Instead they get five minutes of screen time. Do you think the producers of that film look at their later careers and say “huh – maybe we should have given them more screen time and Jennifer Love Hewitt less?”
Then again, they probably would have had to ask themselves why they chose to have Jason Lee in the film if you weren’t going to give him a single punch line.
So, in conclusion – watch When Harry Met Sally because of Princess Leia. Watch Heartbeakers if you don’t mind watching a movie that wastes Jason Lee, Zach Galifinakis and Sarah Silverman so you can see a few more shots of Jennifer Love Hewitt’s boobs.