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3.6 out of 5 stars
I Could Never Be Your Woman
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
Lots of fun stuff in this flick: Paul Rudd's goofiness, Tracey Ullman's cruel torturing of the lovely, yet aging, Michelle Pfeiffer, Saoirse Ronan's pre-Oscar adorableness, Jon Lovitz in a pair of short shorts that should be burned so that he can never wear them again, and, as usual, Heckerling's dead-on skewering of Hollywood's sham-glam lifestyle.

There are no implausible low-brow gags and none of the characters waste any time on the screen. A lot happens in this tight little film and at the end of it, you feel like you've been told a complete, entertaining story, which is a pretty rare thing to see in today's cinemas.

Speaking of which, this movie got shafted. Straight-up. If it had been given a decent post-production life, release, and advertising campaign, it could've put some serious booties in the theater seats and people wouldn't have felt like throwing popcorn and pickles at the screen halfway through it.

This is one of those movies that, unlike most studio-driven, profit-turning garbage pile films today that are filled with hack dialogue and desperate marketing tactics, makes use of a talented cast & crew with the purpose of making a statement (or several, in this case) about the modern world. And you get to laugh plenty before the credits roll.

Does that sound like a bad deal? I don't think so.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on February 14, 2008
Format: DVD
Michelle Pfeiffer gives a brilliant performance as a working mother who falls for a young man (the always funny Paul Rudd) in this light-hearted comedy. It's a shame that this movie wasn't released in theaters in the US because it's one of the best performances that Michelle Pfeiffer has given. She's fun, charming, and more beautiful then ever.
The script and direction are well done by Amy Heckerling and it's nice to see her re-team with some of the cast that shined in her crowning-achievement, Clueless (Stacey Dash, Wallace Shawn, and of course, Paul Rudd).
This is definitely a fun romantic comedy worth seeing. The supporting players are all great, especially Saoirse Ronan, who plays Michelle Pfeiffer's daughter, gives a terrific performance. Stacey Dash is fun as well playing a B-rated actress with a diva attitude.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on February 29, 2008
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I waited and waited for this movie to be released either to theaters or DVD-finally purchased it and rec'd it for Valentines Day. What a treat as all Pfeiffer movies are. One reviewer said she's nearly 55 - sorry but she's only 49 - turns 50 on 4/29/08. I never looked that good at 49-she is amazing. The film is light and cute - not a major drama piece people. If you enjoy a nice film, no sex scenes,no bad language, just a feel good movie then this is it! Shame on the director for not having the good sense to get her film away from Mr. Martinez and into the hands of a reliable company to distribute this to the theaters. According to the article in Entertainment Weekly-they even had Michelle take a cut in pay to keep the costs down. She was all set to do the PR for the film and there wasn't enough money for advertising. I don't blame her for bailing and saying it was not what she signed up to do. She held up her end of the bargain and delivered an enjoyable movie! On a personal note,
hope Michelle doesn't cave in for any plastic surgery - she earned every one of those lines and looks fab! When is she going to record an album???? Voice is great! Thanks Michelle for another great DVD for my collection. Can't wait for Personal Effects.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon February 16, 2008
Format: DVD
I love Amy Heckerling's movies (Fast times at Ridgemont High, Clueless, etc) and when I heard about this one, I was intrigued. It's a direct to DVD release and I read an article about it, and about how they were having trouble getting a movie release partially because it hit to close to home in it's scathingly funny portrayal of what goes on in Hollywood.

It also starred some of my favorite actors: Michelle Pfeiffer, Tracey Ullman and Paul Rudd, who I loved in Clueless. My husband and I watched it last night and we both loved it. We laughed out way through this story of an older woman (Pfeiffer) who's a bit bitter about relationships (the Barbie playacting with her daughter is hysterical) who meets and becomes involved with a younger man (Rudd).

There are also brilliant performances by Tracey Ullman and Saoirse Ronan who plays Michele's daughter and is a raising young star. It's a very funny and heartwarming movie and highly recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 23, 2008
Format: DVD
Michelle Pfeiffer, Paul Rudd, and Saoirse Ronan have great chemistry and could hardly have been better in their roles. Less to my liking was the Tracey Ullman opening. Writer/directory Amy Heckerling succeeded in making lemonade out of all the production lemons put on her plate. Rudd is astounding in his audition and dance solo scenes, which were both multiple-rewind highlights. Pfeiffer glowed on screen throughout the film, especially in her many scenes with Rudd and Ronan.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on May 7, 2011
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
There's a reason this movie went straight to DVD.
They lost me at the beginning with that nonsensical rant by Tracey Ullman as Mother Nature/sometimes conscience/figment of Michelle Pfeiffer's character.
I found this movie to be pretentious and overbearing throughout and was very surprised to learn that it was supposed to be a romantic comedy. I could find neither romance nor comedy. This movie tried way too hard to be clever, coming across as simply annoying instead. The premise alone was stale and overused: she's too old and he's too immature, they'd make a great couple. In what alternate universe!?
Couldn't wait for it to grind to a halt. For a 97 minute movie it felt like 4 hours.

Not a keeper and don't want to inflict it on anyone else.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 7, 2008
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
If not exactly a one-hit wonder, Amy Heckerling is certainly a mystery. After directing the highly successful "Fast Times at Ridgement High (1982) and writing/directing an excellent modern adaptation of Jane Austins's "Emma"- insert "Clueless" (1995) here - it appeared that she had a unique connection with both teenage viewers and those nostalgic about their teenage years.

Then she spectacularly crashed and burned with the appropriately named "Loser" (2000). That career breaker would be in the running for a "worst film of all time" designation, were it not for its modest scale. Nonetheless it exposed huge deficiencies in Heckerling's writing talents, acting for the camera directing skills, and basic judgment.

Six years and no films later she was finally able to cobble together another modest scale film "I Could Never Be Your Woman", which is much closer to "Loser" in concept and execution than to her successful films.

Heckerling is at heart an expressionistic movie-maker; a fine quality except that mainstream audiences, used to a steady diet of movie realism, sometimes just don't get it. Her two main successes were situations where the surreal stuff was an ironic undercurrent masked by a realistic facade. With "Loser" her elements went out of balance and she repeats this same mistake in the main storyline here; a blend of the Hollywood insider story Altman did so well in "The Player" and the standard Lifetime Channel exploration of female angst, aging, and discontent.

Fortunately there is parallel storyline involving the main character's middle school daughter, which allows Heckerling to get back to what she does best. And even more fortunate is the casting of newcomer Saoirse Ronan in this role. Ronan has since broken out with her Oscar nominated performance in "Atonement" (2007). "I Could Never Be You Woman" was her first feature film, which she easily steals. So much so that you are tempted to fast- forward through the scenes in which she is not present. Heckerling should have recognized what she had here and initiated major script revisions to amp up Ronan's screen time; especially more scenes of her playing off Paul Rudd (her mother's boyfriend) and Jon Lovitz (her father). Even so this will be become a minor cult classic on the strength of this one performance.

Michelle Pfeiffer and Paul Rudd (who played Cher's stepbrother in "Clueless") play the film's May-December romantic couple. Their chemistry is not bad and the romance is mostly played for its comic qualities. This stuff is good enough to keep and certainly not one of the film's fatal weaknesses. These can be found in some ill-conceived expressionistic elements: Tracey Ullman as an extremely boring Mother Nature, Fred Willard as an unfunny version of his Ron Albertson "Waiting for Guffman" (1996) character, and Sarah Alexander as a kind of concentration of all the irritating qualities of Jenny McCarthy. The one expressionistic element that does work is the "Head of the Class" style television show that Pfeiffer's character is producing; complete with tacky production design and middle age actors playing high school students.

The film might just be the highest-profile motion picture ever to take the direct-to-DVD route, due to bad financial practices rather than the marketability of the final product. Then again when you try to figure out the film's target audience you realize that it is even narrower than the standard "chick flick", and unlike Heckerling's hit films there is nothing here of interest to the teen demographic.

Rosie (Pfeiffer) is a middle age TV writer/producer whose once popular TV series needs a talent transfusion, and whose main occupation seems to be staying young. Adam (Rudd), a 28 year-old actor, is added to the cast and it is quickly apparent that he and Rosie are soul mates despite the age differential. Middle school daughter Izzie (Ronan) has a crush on a boy at her school and Rosie must adjust to her daughter growing up. As someone observed earlier, Izzie is a little like what "Juno" might have been four years before her pregnancy. Ronan's two songs (including a parody of Britney's "Oops" with altered lyrics) are the film's comedic highlights.

The DVD package is pretty basic; a few deleted scenes, the unused theatrical trailer, and an extremely lame commentary.

Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICEon February 14, 2008
Format: DVD
Even before the obligatory clip is shown of The Graduate, I was thinking how great Michelle Pfeiffer would be as the predatory Mrs. Robinson in a remake. Unfortunately, while the plot takes its cues from the complications of an older woman-younger man affair, there is little else that director/screenwriter Amy Heckerling's 2007 comedy has in common with Mike Nichols's seminal 1967 classic except for a mostly winning cast. The whole venture feels very scattered and rather dated in its cultural references (the production was shelved for over two years), and Brian Tufano's washed-out cinematography, in particular when the lens is on Pfeiffer, is disappointing. On the upside is Pfeiffer herself, who manages to look sensational at 47 despite the technical deficiencies and appears relaxed and assured despite the unimaginative ways Heckerling drives the cliché-driven story.

Set in LA (though filmed primarily in London), the film stars Pfeiffer as Rosie, both a successful TV sitcom producer in a cruelly youth-oriented industry and a recently divorced mother raising her adolescent daughter Izzie through puberty. Similar to the set-up of Jake Kasdan's The TV Set, Rosie uses her daughter as a litmus test for a teen sitcom called "You Go Girl", which seems like a cross between Saved by the Bell and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. In a casting call, she meets the boyishly charming Adam, and sparks inevitably fly despite an age gap of at least fifteen years. Naturally, complications ensue when Adam becomes a breakout star. Moreover, throughout the story, Rosie's conscience shows up in the scabrous form of Mother Nature who is lightning-quick with her "I-told-you-so" invectives.

There are a variety of supporting characters and subplots to track in this melee, much the same way Heckerling handled the shenanigans in her fondly remembered Fast Times at Ridgemont High. One funny conceit that Heckerling exploits is the casting of jaded older actors as the teens in the sitcom, and in that spirit, she recruits Stacey Dash and Paul Rudd, both from 1995's Clueless, to play two of the actors. At forty, Dash looks great and completely convinces as a self-absorbed Lindsay/Britney-wannabe. Showing off the comic chops he displayed with aplomb in Judd Apatow's mega-comedies, The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up, Rudd steps up to the plate as Adam and has genuine chemistry with Pfeiffer. As Izzie, Saoirse Ronan (currently winning raves in Joe Wright's Atonement) is terrifically winsome.

Smaller roles are filled in expertly by Jon Lovitz as Rosie's surgery-obsessed ex-husband, Fred Willard as a nasty network suit, and Sarah Alexander (who played one of Pfeiffer's witchy sisters in Stardust) as an unscrupulous secretary. While I generally like Tracey Ullman a lot, her role as Mother Nature feels so wedged in that I just wish Heckerling could have trusted the material more to avoid such a tired movie ploy. Lastly, the production company apparently did such a poor job brokering the film that it went straight to DVD without a theatrical release, a shame since Pfeiffer, Rudd and Heckerling all deserve better. The extras on the 2008 package are rather spartan with Heckerling and producer Cerise Hallam Larkin providing a genial, ramshackle commentary track. There are also three deleted scenes, as well as the trailer which I assume was never shown in theaters.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 29, 2009
Format: DVD
Rosie (Michelle Pfeiffer) is a 40 year old single mom writing for an urban high school T.V. show. Her preteen daughter Izzie (Saorise Ronan) is deep into her first crush and Rosie does her best to coach her through it. She hasn't had much experience in that field since splitting with her ex husband (Jon Lovitz). All of that changes when she meets an actor named Adam (Paul Rudd) who auditions for a part on the show. He's a goofy guy and Rosie is attracted to him immediately. Adam is likewise smitten and starts flirting with her. Rosie is put off by this but even more worried about the age difference between them: Adam is only 29. She eventually gives in and the two start dating. Rosie still has her reservations but she slowly opens up to Adam's charm and lets loose. Things go well for the new couple until Rosie's spiteful assistant doctors some photos to make it look like Adam is seeing the show's star (Stacey Dash). This development proves too much to handle for an already insecure Rosie and she ends their relationship. This is where the movie stops being fun and clever. Cue the endless montage (set to the Cure) of Adam trying to win her back. The film loses any of it's wit and intelligence and becomes another by the numbers romantic comedy. This is only one of the film's many problems. For one, the leads don't quite work. Pfeiffer is still beautiful but her character is too insecure and grows grating whenever bringing up the age difference. Rudd is way too goofy and over the top. I assume Heckerling was trying to get him to be charming but she gets him to be annoying. What works the best is the performance of Ronan as Izzie. She steals the show with her intelligence and humor. The supporting cast, consisting of Lovitz, Dash, Graham Norton, and Fred Willard, shoulder the burden and provide lots of the laughs whenever Rosie and Adam are bickering. The character that needed to be cut completely is that of Mother Nature played by Tracey Ullman. Ullman is funny and her introductory scene is amusing but after that anytime she appears it's only to put down Rosie and make her more insecure. It drags the movie down. All of these elements make this film such a frustrating watch because it has so much talent in front and behind the camera. Amy Heckerling, whose 'Clueless' was so smart and funny, got screwed on this one. The producers promised her a theatrical release but then reneged at the last minute and dumped the film on DVD. I honestly don't know if it would have worked in theaters or what kind of reviews it would have gotten. It would have been interesting to find out. As it stands it's certainly flawed and frustrating but it's definitely more intelligent and better cast than any of the romantic comedies that do find their way to theaters each week.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I caught I Could Never Be Your Woman for the first time on cable. It was just one of those nothing-else-to-watch moments, and I didn't anticipate much. However, it turned out to be one of the most entertaining chick flicks I've ever seen. The romantic scene in the car with the theme from Ben playing in the background just about had me rolling off the couch!

The tween daughter's love life was the perfect counterpoint to her mother's post-divorce interests. The music and costumes were great, and the so many of the secondary characters were just cartoonish enough to make their stories a well-anticipated delight. (And I soooo wish I could make crank calls to the Fonz, too!)

Tracey Ullman stole every scene she was in! Her Mother Nature character is hilarious.

After seeing I Could Never Be Your Woman once, it went right into my Amazon shopping cart. This is a film to watch again and again any time you need a little cheering up. Loved it!
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