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"It was cute and it was sweet and it was predictable," said the two thirtysomething females in front of Cranky as we walked out of a showing of Fools Rush In, starring Matthew Perry and Salma Hayek. Perry is, of course, the not-so-dumb yuppie of Friends fame and Hayek is the woman over whom other women punch their boyfriends in the arm when they start to drool. (Somewhere, a Grammar teacher is screaming over the construction of that last sentence, but Cranky doesn't care.)
Cranky says there are worse things that a movie released in the week of Valentine's Day could be, and Cranky knows 'cuz he's sat through them all. The strangest thing of all is that the most romantic one of 'em all won't be released until next month, so we'll take aim at Fools Rush In, a totally ass-backwards romantic story that is just like those thirtysomethings said. Fools Rush In is a pleasantly amusing thing, and not a bad way to spend a pair of hours in the dark. Especially if St. Valentine's day makes you go "Bah! Humbug!" But enough about me...
You know the story: Boy Meets Girl. Boy Loses Girl. Boy Gets Girl. Bells Ring. Baby Comes. The End. Forget that regimen, this is the 90s. Alex, the Boy is now a Yuppie Gen X'er who lives and breathes in the Greatest City on the Face of the Earth. He builds nightclubs for a living and must journey to Vegas and build a club so hot he'll snatch the corporate equivalent of a gold ring when he returns to manhattan. Isabel, the Girl is a Mexican Goddess who shoots photos of tourists for a living, and of desert landscapes as a profession. Isabel believes in Destiny (with a bolded capital "D") and Fate and all that stuff. The first meeting between Boy and Girl is a clever bit of scriptwriting and, one very well protected blister hot night of you-know-what later, she sneaks away, leaving him bereft.
Lemme see. Meets. Loses. Oh yeah, three months later Isabel's back and carrying bambino. It's a culturally mixed metaphor, but so is the marriage that results -- marriage in true Las Vegas style. From that point on it's a question of where to put the yuks as the couple learn about each other. That means they don't tell each other the truth; they don't come clean and they fight a lot about not coming clean and not telling the truth. It's an hour of gentle humor until the cultures clash with a hellacious roar. Alex hangs with Isabel's older brothers, all of whom carry loaded shotguns. Boys parents meet Girl's parents and it is to the film's credit that it doesn't degenerate into any stereotypical WASP meets Latino shtick.
Fools Rush In is more about the deconstruction of a romance that never was, until Destiny and Fate rear their collective head. In the meantime, almost every plot twist you expect to happen does. It is the chemistry between Hayek and Perry, and some very clever lines by screenwriter Katherine Reback that keeps it all cute and interesting.
On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price for , he would have paid . . .
Fools Rush In is a painless date movie. Even if you don't have one. Bah. Humbug.
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