General News

He Said, She Said: "America's Sweethearts"

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Jul 23, 2001 | 1:22pm EDT

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By Noah Davis & Kit Bowen

Hollywood.com Staff

America's Sweethearts, a cinematic look into the behind-the-scenes world of press junkets, hit the silver screen this week. We caught up with dedicated staff members Noah Davis and Kit Bowen to research if this movie is true-to-life, and perhaps a little too much of an inside joke to be accessible to the public.

Hollywood.com: First off, what was your overall impression of the movie?

Kit Bowen: I liked it. The chemistry was very believable, especially the sisters angle with Gwen (Catherine Zeta-Jones) and Kiki (Julia Roberts). A funny movie.

Noah Davis: The only chemistry I saw on the screen was between Billy Crystal--hysterically over the top--and John Cusack--delightfully wry. Those two should go off and make their own movie.

Hollywood.com: The elegant opening sequence of the movie sets itself up to be compared to the all-time great romantic comedies. How does it rate in that genre?

Noah Davis: Low on the totem pole, in my estimation. There is no believable chemistry between either female star and John Cusack, nor is there any real demonstrative portrayal of his love for either Kiki or Gwen. No romance, just half a comedy.

Kit Bowen: I'm sensing that Noah lacks romance in his own life--when was the last time that you kissed a girl, Noah?

The romance is so-so--I would have cast Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan in the leads. They had wonderful chemistry in When Harry Met Sally--but the romance between Cusack and Roberts is sharp. I would, however, characterize the movie as more of a straight comedy, and not a strict romantic comedy.

Hollywood.com: The movie attempts to parody the marketing of a movie to reporters in a press junket. How true-to-life is the movie, and is the satire on target?

Kit Bowen: This was an easy job for the actors, as they just parodied their own lives. Certainly not as much a stretch as playing, say, a lesbian oilrig firefighter. It does a really good job of skewering the junkets and the press that feeds off of them. This is a perspective of the entertainment industry that we haven't seen before.

Noah Davis: After the first five minutes, which were absolutely hysterical, I thought the satire had as much bite as my great-Aunt Ruth, who soaks her teeth in a cup every night. More should have been made of the press' insatiable appetite for anything Hollywood and the gullibility of reporters to believe whatever is thrown their way.

Kit Bowen: It takes a gullible reporter to know one.

Hollywood.com: Continuing on, is the movie too much of an inside joke for the public to get the parody?

Kit Bowen: There are moments that are very inside, but on the whole the film was just funny. The average moviegoer should find it very humorous.

Noah Davis: We're not in Kansas anymore, Toto. The public won't understand most of the film. How many people have ever experienced anything like a press junket for a movie? And how many really care?

Hollywood.com: Will the real-life breakup of one of the film's stars help the box office? Do you think Julia Roberts and Benjamin Bratt's split was thought up and timed by some publicist on a studio lot?

Noah Davis: I don't even pay attention to that stuff when it comes to deciding what movie to see. I doubt the public at large does either.

Kit Bowen: Wrong! The public, of which I count myself as a member in good standing, does care. Whether or not the breakup was pre-arranged--doubtful--it certainly will help the box office numbers. The movie was dead on target with that premise: We are wrapped up in the personal lives of Hollywood stars.

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