A pretty mediocre comedy film that hugely relies on it’s leading lady to keep the momentum going. The style of the laughs themselves are quite one note to be honest and it feels like a film you’d half watch on a lazy weekend evening on the telly.
It’s a standard American uh-oh plot of being needed for somewhere but needing to overcome endless problems to reach that goal. Meghan Miles (Elizabeth Banks) is a normal and good girl with a promotion opportunity landing in her lap but the night before an interview she gets wrecked and sleeps with a barman named Gordon (James Marsden). In her decision to leave upon waking up she faces the worst walk of shame imaginable trying to get to her promotion interview on time and not ruin her image.
It’s like some thing now with a lot of comedies coming across the pond, with laughs apparently being drafted as a given for all out slapstick in the face of danger and being foolish. This film’s script can easily be mirrored to the journey found in ‘Dude, Where’s My Car?’, so too with the drunken manic aftermath you get the inevitable style from ‘The Hangover’. Though this time a female character takes the charge and fumbles around the lightening city as she ends up in mistaken scenarios, a sleazy massage clinic and a crack den. It’s a sequence of comic moments that aren’t overly funny, they play on the same idea of how she looks and this image humour loses flavour quickly.
It’s not overly bad to be fair but it really isn’t something worth going out of your way for to see. The story is generic and predictable, the romance is squashed in and the buffoonish sending up of Miles’ character gets a tad annoying. A lot of this film just doesn’t work as it doesn’t really make sense, so many times decisions are made that are clearly done to carry the nightmarish hangover trek going for Miles. The differing places that Meghan ends up aren’t at all interesting or fun and they only serve as another location for her to be mistaken as a prostitute, which was obvious and only mildly funny when delivered as the joke for the first time.
The strength, or maybe at a push strengths lay with Elizabeth Banks and one scene in particular that lifted the film before plummeting again. I’ll go with the latter first and say that Meghan accidently running into a secreted crack den and making odd friendships with some guys called Hulk, Scrilla and Pookie. The barmy and dingy backdrop of this turn of events for her is actually well done and charming in some alarming way but it does work and Pookie is great. It was obvious that she would allude to them later on in the movie but I’m so glad that it does because frankly I found that a more touching tone than her bland hardly there blossoming relationship with Gordon.
Banks is fun and leaves this unfunny comedy with dignity even if she does deserve better. Fair play to her as she does display comic talent and does the whole screwball nutty slapstick routine well enough to buy into her decreasing walk of shame and craziness. She’s dominant and sexy as this leading lady and brightens up the screen thankfully for a film that would otherwise shrink without a trace though maybe Banks is wishing it would do just that as she’s more skilled as an actress than this film’s script gives her credit for.
Also the message she comments as a newsreader nearer the end about image and people jumping on female gender as an easy way to sexualise women is quite interesting and made for a more serious applaudable thing to take away from a generally dire comic attempt at comedy. The whole lemon like dress she goes about in as some horrendous bright beacon becomes a symbol of how women shouldn’t be looked upon as sluts, hookers or easy prey because of what they wear and that is a fair and right thing to put into this film that at least leaves the ending with some moral high ground to stand upon.
Not a film that makes you hate it but also not one that you’d probably ever watch again unless you too wanted to feel that shame that Banks’ character does go through.