ninth symphony films - movie reviews


DIRECTOR  -  bix skahill

RATED  -  pg-13

GENRE  -  comedy

LENGTH  -  97 minutes


DISTRIBUTOR  -  columbia pictures

OFFICIAL SITE  -  unknown

life without dick - a shot from the film


buy the dvd from life without dick at

buy the dvd from life without dick at

by accident, colleen gibson shoots and kills her gold-digging cheating boyfriend, dick, a private eye who happens to have a hitman on his tail.

the writer also directed this feature.


picture from life without dick

picture from life without dick

picture from life without dick


zero out of four possible stars

Life Without Dick is a sorely unfunny escapade into what might have started out as an entertaining film, but became quite an odd movie, given that the viewer is given not one convincing reason to laugh during the entire film. Thatís quite a harsh blanket statement, but the jokes in this film are just very poorly written. Or perhaps theyíre just unsuccessfully delivered. Life stars Sarah Jessica Parker, definitely not in top verbal form, as ďColleen GibsonĒ an artist who accidentally shoots her two-timing boyfriend, "Dick," played in a rather normal performance by Johnny Knoxville. What Colleen doesnít realize is that her boyfriend, who in life was a private detective, was next on a hit manís list.

Through a series of events that are probably supposed to make the audience feel entertained, Colleen soon meets the hit man, "Daniel," played by Harry Connick Jr., in one of his lesser performances. While it is evident the director/writer of this film wishes the audience to find themselves following the growing love story between Daniel the hit man and Colleen the artist, it is very difficult to do so considering the two actors who play those characters have no romantic chemistry. Not one iota. It would be more convincing to watch Harry Connick and Johnny Knoxville form a relationship than see Connick fall in love with Sarah Jessica.

For reasons unknown to those of us in the sane world, the casting director chose to place two people in front of the camera together who should never have shared the screen. At least as lovers anyway. Because feeling anything but contempt for their laughable relationship is too hard a task. Since the film deals in a rather flippant way with the art of murder for hire, it becomes noticeable that Life Without Dick is supposed to be a black comedy. But for all its jokes about the mob (Well, theyíre not really the mob. Theyíre Irish!) and itís tendency to "get rid of" anybody they donít like, the jokes just donít seem to inspire laughter. Unless one takes to laughing at the screenwriter (who also directed the feature).

Without realistic humor or romance between the two lead stars, their characters are hardly sympathetic and itís doubtful audiences will really care whether they end up together at the end or even if they live to the end. If the comedy had been a riot or the black humor had been more impressively written, one could probably excuse the lack of real romance between Colleen and Daniel. But the jokes are so repetitive that some jokes are repeated above five times in what is only a ninety minute film (sans credits). For example, Daniel repeats to anyone within earshot that "Iím not part of the mob! Iím Irish!" at least every ten minutes or so.

The most ironic thing is that the joke isnít even a funny one. Had it been, including it in the screenplay more than once might have been forgivable. But writer/director Bix Skahill seems to have written a ten minute film and Xeroxed the jokes a few times for his repetitive film. And beyond being repetitive, the film is also quite predictable with a large amount of unoriginal dialogue. Of course, predictability in and of itself is not always the worst thing on a film. A convincing romance or wittily delivered script (however predictable) can literally save a film. But Life Without Dick is missing both sides of that equation. Itís not original and itís not convincing.

So many elements of this film are so poorly done that it begs the question: how did this film make it to the screen in the first place? No matter what type of film it became, what the producers started with had to look rather bad considering the end product turned out to be so laughably bad. And in point of fact, if audiences do laugh at this film, they will be laughing at the producers, not the cast. Even the attempt to include some slapstick humor into the mix seems a failed endeavor, given Sarah Jessica Parkerís inability to make that type of comedy funny. And though he has shown proficiency in dramatic roles in the past, Connick displays a lack of ability for physical comedy.

Perhaps he will show himself more adept at humor in his future films. Parker has already made quite a career in feature film comedies, so why her role was so lackluster is a mystery. Perhaps the screenplay is entirely to blame? Itís rare that a film in the comedy genre can be so unfunny in every single scene. Generally there are a few jokes worth cackling at in even the most unentertaining films. But Life Without Dick is a comedic mistake on a massive scale. Though the budget probably didnít blow its studio out of the water, the money made on this feature will be slight indeed.

Review by Kelsey Wyatt.

content © 2000 - - ninth symphony films - photographs © columbia pictures 2001
home | archive | ratings | links | photographs | about | contact