Erase ‘All about Steve’ from your movie agenda
By Greg Vellante
A pungent concoction of “There’s Something About Mary,” “Fatal Attraction,” and the feeling one gets when the toilet backs up, “All About Steve” is easily the most irritatingly inept and pointless “romantic comedy” I have ever had the misfortune of viewing.
By the end of this film’s agonizing 99-minute run, I was wishing for multiple arms so I could simultaneously rip out my hair, gouge my eyes, and stab my ears in an attempt to erase this experience from my mind.
With annoying characters who find themselves in annoying situations, the only way to escape this insipideness is to pick yourself up and exit the theater. Or better yet, don’t waste your time in the first place.
Take it from a survivor: “All About Steve” is a tough ordeal from which to recuperate.
Sandra Bullock plays Mary, the complete flip of Cameron Diaz’s character, with none of the zest and a whole lot of blah. A crossword creator for her local newspaper, Mary uses metaphors comparing the classic puzzle to life in each of her bazillion narrative voiceovers.
When she delivers actual dialogue, Mary gets really bad. Hyper and donning hideously vibrant red boots, Mary is the kind of person you would never want to work or share a room with, meet on the subway, or certainly ever date.
She’s a nice enough person with a genuine heart, but her overwhelming ability to trust and always look on the bright side of life is her weakest asset. Last year, Sally Hawkins gave a brilliant performance in “Happy-Go-Lucky,” built on a similar dynamic, and the result was a dream. “All About Steve” is its nightmarish response.
When Mary meets Steve, the title character played by “The Hangover’s” Bradley Cooper, she turns psycho. Clingy and overly aggressive on their blind date, Mary immediately turns Steve off. He makes up a lie to bail out of the date and tries not hurt Mary’s feelings.
Mary, however, is convinced that Steve is “the one,” and goes gaga. Her infatuation fuels the following weekend’s crossword puzzle, in which every clue is about Steve. For this she loses her job, so sets off on the road to catch Steve at his next gig as a news cameraman.
“All About Steve” is a cinematic version of the hardest crossword puzzle you may ever attempt. It’s difficult, even agonizing, to watch — a true challenge to endure. With a crossword puzzle, though, you may enjoy the challenge. Not so with “All About Steve.”
I typically do my crossword puzzles in pencil, even though Bullock’s Mary advises that pen is the best way to go if you want a true challenge. After this experience, I’m not only remaining true to my faithful No. 2, I’m buying an extra eraser.
1 out of 4 Stars