Year Released: 2002
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 76 minutes
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The issue with “The Right Girl” is that while it has the makings of a romantic comedy (circle of friends, guy and girl as friends in a will-they-or-won’t-they situation), it also has the trappings of one, and one too many times it falls into those traps with no chance of climbing out.
We open on a sign for a “Sadie Hawkins Dance” that’s being pelted by garbage from a distraught Lauren (Lauren Byrd) and soon after, her friend Mickey (David Lee “Trevor” Brown) pulls up in his Dad’s car, gets out, and tries to console her. In a fit of despair over the fact that the boy she liked suddenly decided to dance with another girl, Lauren makes Mickey promise that the two of them will never hook up, that they will never become romantically attached. With great reluctance, Mickey promises.
Flash-forward to quite a time later where Lauren (Katherine Willis) is returning home from college and Mickey (Scot Hartman) is there waiting for her. She finally arrives and talk is focused on what she has been up to. He has to go get ready to perform with the band, Evolution, for which he is the lead guitarist and they hug and right there, Mickey makes it so painfully obvious that he wishes the promise had not taken place. What amazes me is that after all the time the film eats up just by going from one point in their lives to another, these two still remember the promise.
From there, it’s brief time with Mickey’s current and soon-to-be ex girlfriend, Donna (Emma Mozeley) whom Mickey dumps later on for not having long hair. This quirk, however, is not explored for long. The one thing that is explored for too long in this movie is the “Will-they-or-won’t-they” situation. Just by the second paragraph in my review alone, if you’ve seen enough movies involving it, you can probably gather what will happen to the two leads. In this case, it’s the trip to that point that counts and it’s not a very good one. Both Katherine Willis and Scot Hartman have good chemistry at times, but it’s only at points where they are discussing certain things such as the fact that Lauren is not pleased that Mickey refuses to go further with his musical talents, deciding instead to stick around as part of his band and as a pizza delivery guy because, “stoners rely on me to bring them food.”
There are some half-decent characters in this story, such as Kelly (Lydia Blanco) whom Lauren works with at her shop. Mickey’s friend Doyle (Martin Knapik) is funny when he needs to be and that’s pretty much all of him. However, there’s not much that can be made of certain characters. Susan Forsythe (Lilas Edwards) comes into the picture later on and impresses Mickey who in turn, tries to know more about her without her knowing and ends up at a dating service place which leads to the only interesting scene in the movie where Mickey is asked to select the package he wants for his membership (includes time to view the videos and a voice-mail box). He asks Debbie (Terri Simmons), the woman helping him, how much a certain package is and she goes off, trying to convince him that price should not be thought of and asks him to consider whether money will really matter once he’s found the person of his dreams. It just works out great between both actors. However, Lilas Edwards does her best to make something of Susan, which isn’t much, although there is something that happens later on that while it probably is there to push things along, it seems strangely right for Susan. Also, at certain angles and lighting, Edwards does tend to look slightly like Jennifer Connelly at times, so she’s not completely wasted.
Sad to say that it’s not the case for the rest of the movie, which seems to have loose shoelaces as it stumbles and trips over and over again. What it all ends up boiling down to is a 76-minute picture that’s 76 minutes too long. It’s one romantic comedy that just doesn’t really make much of an effort.
Posted on July 5, 2003 in Reviews by Rory L. Aronsky
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