with the Finkels
Perhaps it is for the best that Mandy Moore not find true love.
a shame, I guess. I mean she seems like a nice person. She is sweet and
cute and can be kinda funny.
However she is following up Love, Wedding, Marriage, one of the
worst-reviewed films of the year, with this awkward attempt at romantic
comedy – one that tries to be edgy and shocking, but is instead surprisingly
square and conventional. More importantly, it’s just not very funny.
is not even taking into consideration her 2007 unwatchable rom-com double
feature of Because I Said So and License to Wed, which,
shockingly, were even worse than either of these two.
However, if Swinging with the Finkels’ best selling point is that it
is slightly better than Because I Said So or License to Wed,
things are not looking good.
to say this is all Mandy’s fault. There is plenty of blame to go around
here. However, it certainly doesn’t help that Moore (and most of her
co-stars) seem to be phoning it in. Nor the fact that she has absolutely no
chemistry with the man who plays her husband (nebbishy comic Martin Freeman
from the British version of The Office), so that you literally spend
the entire movie wondering why Moore would ever be with him, much less go to
the extreme lengths she does to save their marriage.
mostly, it comes down to a horribly weak script, full of maudlin emoting,
dumb sight gags (a woman with two breast pumps attached, yuk yuk), and even
Swinging with the Finkels
is a dual British and
American film, made in London. You can tell this because nearly every major
couple in the film has one person from the US, one from Great Britain.
Thus, Yanks like Moore, Jonathan (Weekend at Bernie's) Silverman and
Jerry (Seinfeld) Stiller show up for a bit and have little to do –
and do that little bit rather poorly.
basic idea is rather simple. A couple has been married a while and is going
through a dry patch. The wife decides that maybe what they need to shake
things up is to swap with another couple. She takes this advice from her
flamboyantly gay French best
male friend… yeah that’ll work for an uptight straight couple.
seems to be trying to be a new millennium equivalent of the old British sex
farces of the 60s and 70s, full of bawdy jokes, big boobs, smirky titles
like Sex with a Smile and slumming soon-to-be real actors like Marty
Feldman, Denholm Elliott and Elaine Paige paying their hard knocks before
real acting jobs would come calling.
– despite its randy central concept and an extended
sequence of masturbation with a vegetable (don’t ask)
turns out to be way
too timid to be bawdy. Despite near constant talk about sex, it
barely deserves a PG-13 rating, despite for some reason being saddled with
an R. There is no gratuitous nudity, mature subject matters are used
cartoonishly and the title swinging happens discreetly off-camera, but
cucumbers were harmed in the filming of this movie.
was Mandy Moore’s acting career, which already had more than enough strikes
against it. Every once in a while during the film, you see a brief glimpse
of the charisma and charm that she does possess as an actress, but then it
is swallowed up by another bad joke or maudlin musical sequence. Otherwise,
the main lesson in Swinging with the Finkels is that Moore should
probably revisit her musical career. Or at the very least, fire her agent
for letting her keep getting involved in these irredeemable projects.
Jay S. Jacobs
Copyright ©2011 PopEntertainment.com.
All rights reserved. Posted: August 26, 2011.