Formidable actors deflate viewers' delight
Bringing together comedic veterans Sandra Bullock and Bradley Cooper to execute a worthy comedy seems simple for the dynamic duo; however, the sparse laughs amongst the poor screenplay can hardly cover the fact that the feeble characters in this film are hardly more suitable for the actors than Bullock's new shaggy blonde 'do.
With two experienced actors, there is no doubt talent goes to waste here. Though Bullock applies skill in her character embodiment with a whimsical lisp (which is highlighted in her long-winded ramblings to strangers) and bubbly mannerisms (played up while cavorting around in bright red go-go boots), it is clear that the forward boldness the actress is known for does not fit Mary's unstable personality. As for Cooper, not much can be done to bring the character of Steve to life. With a dull vitality and rarely the source of humor, Steve is, despite the title's suggestion, hardly the spotlight of this film.
Fortunately, while the two lead roles were not enchanting, the peculiar charm of the many minor characters together create a ticklish hilarity. Mary's companions Howard and Elizabeth each have a perfect blend of awkward eccentricity and heartwarming sweetness. Angus's seemingly bland character bursts amusement with his reactions to the bizarre situations in which he and his team deal with. Finally, Church makes Hartman Hughes possibly the funniest character in the film with his rash ignorance and reckless spontaneity.
Despite this, the story contains many inconsistencies in plot progression that distract from the several amusing segments that the audience responds to. Written by Kim Barker ("License to Wed"), the film's series of events engender a noticeable choppiness as both the news team and Mary travel from site to site, covering breaking news that would realistically not be "breaking" by the time they reached their destination. And though Barker successfully captures the theme of individualism, she attempts a critical shot towards present-day media, which does not sufficiently meld into the film's overall message. This lack of cohesion continues with Mary's narrative voiceovers; while there are multiple throughout the film, the story overall does not feel like her personal tale.
In a minimal sense, the film affords some laugh-out-loud humor and a band of loveable characters. However, the story's patchy plot work and even pitiable twosome cause viewers to not want to know "All About Steve."
"All About Steve" (98 minutes) is rated PG-13 for sexual content including innuendos. Now playing in theaters everywhere.
Anya Gosine. More »