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Customer Review

VINE VOICEon March 27, 2002
I *loved* this movie -- it's a warm, joyful, and very funny exploration of love, and the things we choose to hide in order to be loved by the ones we want. Affleck's intelligence, earnestness, and romanticism make Armageddon look like a bad dream, while Joey's the feisty heroine we girls wish we were, and Jason Lee takes a relatively thankless role and turns Banky into a wholly sympathetic, understandable, confused, and lovable loner who's desperate in the face if being displaced by his best friend's first real love affair. (Prediction: One of these days Lee will leave Affleck in the dust.)
It's a great film -- wonderfully written and acted, and the characters' declarations of love are surprisingly sweet and literate, and worth going back a track or to on that DVD button for a second viewing.
But the "special edition DVD" is a rank disappointment. Sure, it's loaded with stuff (most of it from the previous Criterion laser release from years ago -- ironically, the commentary opens with a loud diss by Smith & co. on the 'fad' of DVD's and how they will quickly fade), but too bad most of it bites.
The Director's Commentary is the biggest surprise -- it's awful.
While I drooled at the idea of listening to someone as smart and funny as Smith is commenting on his film, what I got was a barely coherent mumblefest from Smith, Mewes, Affleck, and buddies. (I mean, come on, this from the Smith who once beautifully analyzed "A Man for All Seasons" for the New York Times?) The guys instead spend most of the two hours making noises at one another, and are evidently not even watching the movie they're supposed to be commenting on. The group sounds blitzed, most of the commentary has nothing to do with the film (and Mewes especially is in "Jay" mode, embarrassingly unaware of what's going on onscreen in front of them, a fact Smith and Affleck exploit throughout the commentary).
I love the movie, and don't think anyone should miss it. But I spent the extra bucks on the "special edition" and felt robbed. Don't make the same mistake, and spend the extra bucks on a "special" edition that's frankly not so special. (Until they bother to re-record the commentary on a day when everyone's caffeinated or sober, at least.)
Just my 2 cents. ;-)
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