Reviewed by Ned Daigle
Rating: 9 Beans
ike it or not, the critics are usually right. Oh sure, there are a few exceptions here and there, but we all know that if they say it's really really bad, it probably is. I mention this because of "Mr. Wrong". I was so sure that all of the awful things I had heard about it couldn't possibly be true. After all it was the first starring role for Ellen DeGeneres, a comedienne I've been a huge fan of for many years, it also starred Bill Pullman who has been dependably good even in bad flicks, and the dark comic plot sounded like a winner. Boy was I wrong. Dead wrong. "Mr. Wrong" is truly one of the un-funniest movies I've had the displeasure of having to sit through in some time.
The story follows Martha Alston (DeGeneres), a single gal who has given up on dating or ever getting married. Suddenly she meets Whitman Crawford (Pullman), and he seems perfect. He's smart, passionate, a poet, and all around dream boat. Could he be the one?
Martha wants to make sure that her man is honest and true, "I want you to be yourself". With that Whitman goes nutso and begins to scare and terrorize Martha, only because he loves her so much and this is his true self. Such as dressing as a clown and climbing next to her bedroom window in stilts, forcing her to shoplift ("Stolen beer just tastes better"), making her play charades with his very odd mother (Joan Plowright), and breaking his finger to prove how much he really loves her.
Along the way, Whitman's ex-girlfriend Inga (Joan Cusack, who steals the movie, but in this case she could have done it in her sleep) terrorizes Martha by tying her up and putting gum in her hair.
All of this (unfunny) nonsense leads to a gunpoint wedding in Mexico. The single, solitary, laugh I got from this flick showed up around this time. After Whitman has dropped Martha some LSD they stop at a rest area for lunch (don't ask). While sitting there, Martha begins to laugh uncontrollably saying "Guess what? I'm gonna kill ya. Yes I am. I'm gonna kill ya." The reason it's funny is DeGeneres's wonderful comic delivery. As you can tell by the dialogue, this is not what could be called an intelligent or witty screenplay.
This film is only 96 min long, but I swear, a double feature of "The English Patient" and "The Horse Whisperer" would feel shorter. There is nothing, I mean nothing, more unbearably painful that a comedy without laughs.
I will never doubt Siskel and Ebert again!!
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