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She's The One
Starring Edward Burns, Maxine Bahns;
Cameron Diaz, John Mahoney, and Mike McGlone
Written and Directed by Edward Burns

For his second film, Edward Burns sticks with the Irish family unit that he knows so well, and delivers two stories which are talked about and verbally dissected by all parties, interested or not. This being an Irish family (with one Italian family married in), everyone is interested. True to Cranky's real life, in which most of my friends are Irish or Italian, regardless of where the conversation begins, it always ends up being about sex. In the case of She's the One, the conversations are very funny indeed.

We start with an Irish family named Fitzgerald; two brothers taught by their father's rule of thumb: "It doesn't matter what 'they' want. You have got to be happy." Three years ago, elder brother Mickey (Burns) walked away from Heather (Cameron Diaz) the fiancée who double-timed him. He drives a cab and that's about it. Younger brother Francis (Mike McGlone) married his high school sweetheart, Renee (Jennifer Aniston), and went after happiness the old fashioned way. He bought it with a career on Wall Street. One brother is too selfish to appreciate what he's got, the other just doesn't care to go for any better than he's already got.

But Francis stopped sleeping with Renee, because doing so would have made him unfaithful to his girlfriend Heather; the same Heather who cheated on Mickey all those years ago. Mickey, for his part of the story, picks up Hope (Maxine Bahns), who hates to fly and so hires the cab to drive her to New Orleans. Somewhere across the Kentucky border, they are married. Back in New York, the Father Fitzerald is convinced that the hussy must have ulterior motives. Those are talked out as well.

The loyal, emotionally abandoned wife Renee doesn't suspect what Francis is doing. She does the traditional things. She tries lingerie and tries being seductive. She demands attention. When it all fails she takes her problems back to mom and sis, and the conclusion they reach is way off base. On the other side of the equation, Francis' dad and brother know part of the problem, and offer advice. When Francis doesn't take it, they reach the same wrong conclusion as Renee's family.

I won't mess with this one. She's the One is the best adult comedy of the year to date. The dialogue is earthy and sparkling. All the characters pair off in various combinations: father-son; wife-husband; son-mistress and ex-fiancee-other son; and a lot more. There is a constant competition between these pairings, and debate as to what makes a relationship begin, continue, fall apart or succeed. It all seems to come down to love and sex, but love is more important. The dialogue doesn't mince words, so if you are offended by four letter words you won't like this. Everyone else, get on line.

It is cerebral humor centered on the groin and it works spectacularly. Jennifer Aniston (of TV's Friends) gets to deliver one or two more emotional colors than her TV character Rachel does. (Which is either a plus or minus, depending on how you feel about Friends). John Mahoney (of Frasier) delivers a fine and off-the-cuff hilarious portrait of the father. Cameron Diaz looks good in silk, and seems to have more fun with her character than anyone else, save Mahoney. Maxine Bahns and Mike McGlone once again work with Burns, as they did in The Brothers McMullen, and they work well.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price for She's the One, he would have paid . . .

$7.50

With ten minutes left to go, the movie "felt" like it should have been over. That's the only negative from my end. The songs and soundtrack music are by a first-timer to the film world named Tom Petty. With a little work, this guy could probably make a living at it. <g>

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