All About Steve **
With the popularity from her box office hit The Proposal, Sandra Bullock powers through another comedy in All About Steve, directed by Phil Traill. The movie is sweet and bubbly but also is too light for its own good. With weak writing and poor direction, All About Steve is all about predictability and nothing to write home about.
The film follows a middle aged crossword puzzle writer named Mary Horowitz (Bullock) in her cross country expedition to win the attention of Steve, played by Bradley Cooper. She is set up on a date with Steve, a cameraman for the local news station, which only goes as far as his car. They share an awkward physical experience and Steve politely ends the date by saying, “Hope to see you soon.” Unfortunately Mary takes it as “I love you! Follow me!” Cooper’s news anchor boss, played by Thomas Haden Church, puts it upon himself to bring Mary along with him and Steve as they capture newsworthy events throughout the country. Mary follows Steve until she comes to the realization that the key to happiness are true friends and the ability to be true to oneself.
The characters in this film come across as heartwarming and entertaining, thanks to the talented cast. Bullock creates a hilarious character and Cooper plays Steve primarily as the straight man. Although Bullock is the shining star of the film, the rest of the ensemble carries the film well, especially Church who plays Hartman Hughes. His stern, deadpan one-liners make for hearty belly laughs. His humor, teamed up with Cooper and Ken Jeong makes this “chick-flick” bearable for guys, too.
But while the acting is up to par, the storyline hardly makes sense. Much of the plot twists and characters are a little too crazy for comfort. Sandra Bullock’s character is neurotic and pathetic, but also gorgeous; this makes it hard to believe that she never dates. She is also extremely intelligent so it’s odd that she is so easily fooled by Church’s character, the most unintelligent person in the film. This storyline is confusing because while he asks her to tag along in hopes that her stalking Cooper will get him a good story for his news anchor reel, he knows that he will be reporting at amazing events like hurricanes and police standoffs, stories that outweigh an uninteresting story of a girl stalking a cameraman. On top of that, random characters like Elizabeth and Howard, played by Katy Mixon and DJ Qualls respectively, enter the movie just in time for it to reach another level of ridiculous. Elizabeth is a stereotypical unintelligent southern woman who loves everything and Howard is an apple sculptor. If you are confused, you are completely sane.
All About Steve is good for what it is. Unfortunately, what it is adds up to nothing worth watching in theaters.