I just wanted a sweet holiday movie, but this one just isn't worth it. The leads are both easy on the eyes and appealing, but they have no particular chemistry. And the movie is just stuffed with ridiculous clichés and plot lines going nowhere. Several things are played, inappropriately, for laughs, including the father's legal trouble and Jason/David's religion (being Jewish). Shelley Long is fine, but I didn't even recognize her until halfway through the movie - her talents are wasted in such a subdued role. The movie had a lot of potential, but the writers couldn't be bothered. Clichés in holiday movies are expected and not unwelcome, but at least allow your characters to act like real people.
Comedy / Romance
Comedy / Romance
Keywords: pretend relationship
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Thirty-something Hillary Burns has spent her life trying to get the approval of her parents (most specifically her judgmental mother, Meredith Burns) thus far without success. Part of that approval for Hillary is to marry the right man. That's why Hillary is so happy she is engaged to successful lawyer Jason King, whom she will bring home to meet the family for the first time at their Thanksgiving get-together weekend in a week's time; however, Hillary's life starts to fall apart when simultaneously she loses her part-time newspaper writing job (when the newspaper itself folds) and Jason dumps her to focus on his career (which is seemingly more important to him than Hillary). On the advice of her best friend Sophie, Hillary - who feels she can't go home without Jason (especially as her two sisters' lives seem to meet their mother's approval) - decides reluctantly to go to an online dating site to find someone to pose as Jason for the upcoming family weekend. She finds David, an actor who seems to be struggling with his own life; but, as an actor, she figures he can at least treat it like a real acting job (which he hasn't had in a while). It may be a struggle for David to pretend to be Jason for four days, especially as Hillary's politician father, Roy Burns, always seems to be seeking legal advice. Those problems may be compounded by Hillary herself, who treats David like the real Jason in the hopes that all the wedding planning she goes through with Meredith will end up not going to waste in the possibility that Jason may come back to her. By the end of the weekend, Hillary may finally come to some realizations about her mother and her sisters (the latter whose lives aren't as perfect as on first glance) and what - and perhaps who - she herself really wants in life, especially as an unexpected person also shows up for the weekend.
Uploaded by: FREEMAN
Could have been so much better
Engaging choice for romantic comedy fans, although the plot line is familiar
Hillary (Bonnie Somerville) is finally looking forward to a Thanksgiving dinner at her demanding mother Meredith's house (Shelley Long). You see, this thirty something, newspaper writer has finally found a great catch named Jason to bring home! Jason is an up and coming attorney, good-looking, and smart; Meredith should be happy. Yet, a couple of days before the occasion, Jason dumps Hillary! He has been offered a promotion in Pittsburgh, away from the East Coast where her family lives, and she has been dragging her feet about a move. Then, too, with Hillary talking about children while Jason is trying to concentrate on torts, the break-up seems inevitable. But, Holy Fiancé, Batman, what will Hill tell Mom? She won't! With a friend's help, Hillary HIRES an actor, David (Jordan Bridges) to play Jason's role, with the promise of airline tickets Hill won in a contest. Naturally, David has to cram to get the details right, for his last job was being a costumed cell phone! Yet, when they make it to Meredith's house, all goes initially well. David/Jason charms Meredith and gets along well with Dad and Hill's sisters (one is Hayley Duff). But, small quirks do burst forth. David and Hill never seem too "kissy kissy", causing some concern, and David makes a few small mistakes in his new role. To complicate things even more, the REAL Jason comes calling on the day of the actual holiday. What a fine mess you've got us into, Hill! This is an engaging romantic comedy that genre fans will like. Yes, its a tried and true plot but its still great fun. Somerville, Bridges and Long make a great trio, while the supporting actors are nice as well. The production also looks good, with nice sets, costumes, and art direction, along with a steady pace of direction. Nuf said, for fans, so if you are on of those, hustle to the place where you grab DVDs.
If you are avoiding this movie because you dislike the Duff sisters, fear not. Even though Haley Duff gets top billing, she doesn't get more than about 10 minutes of screen time, for much of which she's in the background, and maybe five lines of dialogue.
This movie is only slightly more improbable than a lot of seasonal romantic comedies. The trope of bringing an imposter as your date to a a family event is not really grounded in reality anyway, so if you're willing to suspend disbelief that far, it's a nice enough diversion for a couple of hours around Thanksgiving.
The cast is reasonably solid, if under-exercised, with some halfway decent comedy chops available (but not accessed) in Shelley Long and Sam McMurray. The two leads are cute and sad by turns, mostly at appropriate moments, and sing well together for one nice scene. Other supporting characters... well, they look their parts and speak their lines but don't expect to find gold in their emotional range.
The script and performances didn't quite gel, leaving plenty of avenues for both comedy and heart under-utilized. Real dramatic situations were barely nodded at in passing while the most potentially humorous moments were signalled more by the characters' laughter than by any similar urge in the audience.
If you combined 'The Family Stone' (where only Sarah Jessica Parker is lacking the necessary depth of character) with 'My Best Friend's Wedding' (where everything is deliberately shallow and the moments of heart stand out better for it),and made a college film class movie, this is about what you'd get.