ninth symphony films - movie reviews

Head Over Heels (2001)

DIRECTOR  -  mark waters

RATED  -  pg-13

GENRE  -  comedy

LENGTH  -  86 minutes

RELEASED  -  2 february 2001

DISTRIBUTOR  -  universal pictures

OFFICIAL SITE  -  head over heels

ESTIMATED BUDGET  -  $14,000,000
head over heels - a shot from the film


buy the dvd from head over heels at

buy the dvd from head over heels at

a young woman is attracted to a man despite her thinking she's seen him kill someone.

the song played in the trailer is "charm attack" by leona naess.


picture from head over heels

picture from head over heels

picture from head over heels


zero out of four possible stars

It's a mathematical certainty that Freddy Prinze Jr. will continue to get roles in film, though it's still unclear why the powers that be at all the major hollywood studios believe he has any talent. That's quite a pointed barb, but with this latest offering from Freddy Inc., the actor has once again proved that any film he's cast in is doomed for failure. Perhaps it was the combination of an unrealistic plot with badly cast actors, but Head Over Heels is a film with only a minimal amount of humor and a plot which more than strains credibility.

With another male lead in Freddy Prinze's role, the film might have been successful. Then again, maybe not. Because as this movie toddles on, it gets mired in a plot which is so dopey and without humor (and this is supposed to be a romantic comedy...) that the film as a whole suffers for it. Rather than creating a movie based solely on the relationship between Freddy's character and that of Monica Potter, who plays the woman interested in him, the film wanders off the trail and tries to create a sense of tension that just isn't there.

I suspect that part of the reason the plot for this film doesn't make in impact is because it takes a serious subject (murder) and tries to make it funny. Now this subject has been made funny in a variety of ways, like in black comedies, but in this film, murder and romance just don't mix. As long as the audience is supposed to take Monica and Freddy's relationship seriously, the element of murder had better be serious or lame-brain funny. And it's neither. I feel that if the plot hadn't included this half-hearted attempt at creating serious scenes, the movie could have been an entire no-brainer, and it's shallowness would have been easier to take.

By all accounts, even with the bad acting, this film could have been just another foray into light-hearted romantic comedy. Of course, the murder plot notwithstanding. the rest of the script wasn't that comedic. In fact, I find the emotion surrounding the murder plot pretty thin. Even if the acting had been superb, the drama about the murder is more dopey than anything. The tension never increases and when the stakes are finally raised, the serious parts become laughable, which is probably the opposite of what the filmmakers intended to occur. This film just has so many problems, it's impossible to laugh at the film.

Instead, it's more appropriate to laugh at the filmmakers. After having directed the unique film The House of Yes it's unclear why Mark Waters would move into such lack-luster filmmaking territory. Perhaps it was a sum of money he couldn't pass up. Or perhaps the studios told him "If you make a Freddy Prinze Jr. picture, we'll let you do the sequel to Gone With the Wind." Whatever the reason, Waters made a huge mistake in taking this film on. 10 to 1 says he was dragged onto the project only after freddy was already attached to star.

One of the largest minuses in this film is the lack of chemistry between the two main characters. The essential element of a romantic comedy is that the two people in the lead roles have a little bit of chemistry with one another. It's unclear whose fault it is (actors, director, casting directors), but the lead stars here just don't look like they'd end up together. Chemistry between actors in a film is pure chance, and it may be that the director here didn't have the stars participate in a screen test before they were hired. That's probably the simplest way to determine if two stars would play well together on screen.

One of the sub-plots in this film, or rather, side-plot, because it's probably just as important an element as the whole murder fiasco. This element includes the presence of four supermodels who act as Monica Potter's roommates. They all have their quirks and weirdness, like the Australian model who always has some part of her body bandaged during the film because of the plastic surgery her boss had made her undergo. This character's foibles (she's also clumsy) are entertaining for a few minutes, but in an hour and a half, the whole thing gets old.

And each of the supermodels has some weirdness about her, but none of it's really funny. Over the course of the film, every stereotype concerning models is shown on the screen, and it gets tedious awfully fast. So, adding to the poorly written (or perhaps it was just poorly executed) script this lack of attention to the chemistry between it's main stars, and Head Over Heels becomes only one of the many faceless and uninteresting 'romantic comedies' to have been forced on the public by filmmakers who, for all intents and purposes, are blind. Otherwise, they wouldn't have cast Freddy Prinze Jr.

Review by Kelsey Wyatt.

content 2000 - - ninth symphony films - photographs universal pictures 2001
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