Thoroughly mundane

This movie is lame. Why? Because I Said So!

Starring Diane Keaton, Mandy Moore and Gabriel Macht. Directed by Michael Lehman.
Rated 1.0

I’ll admit it: I’m a sucker for a good chick flick. And I don’t mind a predictable ending—not when the goals are merely to chuckle and leave the theater feeling good. Because I Said So accomplishes both those things, but in doing so it demonstrates just how little faith it has in the audience. Cakes in the face reduce the humor to slapstick, and the characters are so clichéd and over-the-top it’s hard to take them seriously.

Diane Keaton plays Daphne, the completely overbearing single mother of three grown women. The baby, Milly (Mandy Moore), is hopeless with men, and Daphne can’t stand to see her little girl alone at 23 (or however old she’s supposed to be)—if she’s single now, it must mean she’ll be single forever!

Daphne jumps in secretly with an online personal ad looking for a “life partner” for her daughter. She interviews about 40 prospective suitors, all of whom are completely ridiculous except for one, Jason (the brilliantly blue-eyed Tom Everett Scott). Daphne also has a chance encounter with a musician, Johnny (Gabriel Macht), who wants a shot at Milly, too. (Macht, by the way, is so beautiful he steals the entire show just by smiling.)

Predictability ensues, with Milly dating both guys and having to decide whether to go for the sorta boring Jason (Mom’s choice) or Johnny, who “gets her.” In the meantime, Daphne meets and falls for Johnny’s dad (7th Heaven‘s Stephen Collins), who helps her figure out the whole parenting thing—you have to let your kids make decisions for themselves (novel idea!). In the stupidity department, she also gets set up with Jason’s predictably boring uncle.

And the parallels don’t stop. Those between Daphne and Milly (they’re both bakers, they both like to rearrange their furniture) and Daphne and Jason, and Milly and Johnny, are so obvious that you have to wonder how much effort director Michael Lehmann really put into this film. (I can hardly believe this is the same man who directed Heathers and Airheads.)

The actors all do a good job, but the plot so overshadows the acting that it pretty much gets lost in the muck. Romantic-comedy lovers may be out for a fun, good-natured happy ending, but that doesn’t mean they’re dumb.