Thursday, September 10, 2009

All About Steve

Warning: Spoilers Ahead

Last night, my friend Mike and I saw the new Sandra Bullock flick called All About Steve. I had read some reviews about the movie. There was a huge gap between those who loved the movie and thought it was hilarious and the people who thought it was a complete waste of time and money. I fall in the group that loved it.

Just a brief plot summary. Sandra Bullock plays Mary Horowitz, a quirky crossword puzzle creator. Right from the get-go you can see the childlike, odd behavior of this woman and her devotion to words. Mary is setup, by her parents, on a blind date with Steven (Bradley Cooper) who she instantly gets infatuated and obsessed with. Steven, a news camera man, gets freaked out and makes up a quick lie to get rid of her, telling her that he has to go on the road and he wishes she could come along. Mary takes him seriously especially after she gets fired from her job for making a crossword puzzle that is All About Steve (quite humorous, I thought). And so Mary takes off on the road, following the news because "where the news is, Steve will be there." Steve, obviously, thinks Mary is a freaky stalker and his fear gets worse and worse throughout the movie. Mary's infatuation is only enhanced by Hartman Hughes (Thomas Hayden Church)who sees in Mary a chance to get his job as a news anchor.

There are some good laughs and some really great insightful moments. There's a part of the movie where they are covering the story of a three-legged baby and, somehow, Mary ends up on the pro-keep-the-leg-side. From a writer's standpoint, this was brilliant. The baby is an echo of Mary's quirkiness because of its leg. Everyone wants Mary to be "normal" and she sees Steven as her ticket to normalcy. By getting rid of the leg, the three-legged baby will be normal and just another person. But, by keeping it, the baby will be able to embrace the thing that makes her unique which is, essentially, what Mary must try to do: embrace her quirky personality.

Some reviews complained about the climax of the movie, but I really liked it. Mary is put in a dire situation (although the danger never really feels too dangerous) in which she comes to realize that she doesn't want to be normal.

Another complaint some reviewers had was that Steve and Mary don't end up together. Here is my defense for that. Steve grew up by the end of the movie. He realized that he had led Mary on and made her think that he was interested. Thus, he became a better person and he saw Mary as a woman who is beautiful in her own way. While I wish they would have had him ask her out or something...I still find that I was satisfied that he didn't get Mary because, in the end, he doesn't deserve her. Also, Mary has come to embrace and understand who she is and not care what people think about it. She gains some friends who are also just as quirky as her. So, in the end, Mary ends up happier and better off than before as does Steve.

I really think there was a good message in this movie. There aren't a whole lot of movies out there that are willing to teach a lesson. Those that hated the movie were expecting a lovey-gushy ending so they missed the entire point of the movie. I think it helped, too, that I related to a lot of the parts in the movie. Honestly, a lot of people could relate to this movie because there is a little Mary Horowitz in all of us.

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