"All About Steve" DVD, Blu-ray Movie Review (2009)

12/26/2009 Posted by Admin

DVD, Blu-ray Movie Review

"All About Steve"

Directed by Phil Traill, Written by Kim Barker, 98 Minutes, Rated PG-13.

By our guest blogger, Rob Stammitti

Sandra Bullock's Mary Horowitz is delusional, paranoid, obsessive and annoying. To call her profoundly unlikable would be an understatement. Yet someone out there in Hollywood felt it necessary to make Miss Horowitz the focus of a film about romance, perseverance and acceptance.

Mary works as a crossword puzzle creator for a newspaper in Sacramento. She is very outspoken, silly and apparently intelligent, though the film conveys her intelligence solely through a large vocabulary and knowledge of random and useless trivia. Her apartment is being fumigated and she's staying with her parents, who decide that she's been single for too long and set up a blind date for her.

The unlucky man is Steve Mueller (Bradley Cooper), a cameraman for a local news station. Steve, quickly realizing Mary is both immensely aggravating and obsessive, makes a run for it.  Trouble is, he also makes the mistake of letting her off easy by saying he has to travel for work and that she can't come with him because she has a job.

So, what does Mary do? If you guessed, "Mary takes the rejection maturely and goes on with her life and career, eventually meeting a man who can match her personality," you'd be wrong.  Instead, Mary, being the intelligent lass that she is, decides to leave her job and family to go on a cross-country stalking mission.  With an uncomfortable fervor, she follows Steve to every single shooting location he and his crew travel to.  Because, you know, she's certain he actually loves her but is just scared to admit it.

"All About Steve" attempts to teach a lesson of tolerance, but the question is, why should we learn to tolerate a delusional woman who obsessively follows a man around the country? The film portrays Mary as goofy, eccentric and presumably likable.  Fact is, she simply isn't likable. There's nothing appealing about her personality. Not only is she arrogant in her constant need to show off her endless trivia and, uh, spelling abilities, but she seems completely unable to understand the feelings of those around her. Yet, we're supposed to feel sorry for her when Bradley Cooper's character just wants her to leave him alone.

Let's just forget Sandra Bullock's role for a second. The film itself is a mess, full of inconsistencies in tone, generally terrible characterization, and peppered with predictable and unfunny bit of "comedy." The performances are adequate, and while Bullock's character is awful, her performance is admirable (after all, she had the courage to play Mary in the first place). Cooper, who showed real comedic chops this year in "The Hangover," is fine here--he just doesn't have a whole lot to work with. Thomas Haden Church supplies the film's few laughs as the self-centered reporter Steve works with.

In a year in which Sandra Bullock has made something of a comeback (due to acclaimed performances in both "The Proposal" and "The Blind Side," not to mention the impressive box-office receipts attached to each), it's kind of a shock that she's in this--a thoroughly reprehensible film. And not only does she star, but she produced it. What was she thinking? Risks can garner praise, but this was not the occasion. The only thing worth praising here is that "All About Steve" is all about 98 minutes long--and that I'll never have to watch it again.

Grade: F

View the trailer for "All About Steve" below. Thoughts?

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