|"America's Sweethearts" Movie Review|
Billy Crystal wrote, produced and stars in what could justifiably be hailed as the romantic comedy of the year. "America's Sweethearts pokes fun at egotistical movie stars, ruthless publicists, inept studio heads, and the press. Just about anyone involved in the entertainment industry is fair game for this romantic tour-de-force. "America's Sweethearts" puts an amusing twist on the behind-the-scenes workings of press junkets, and shows that in Hollywood, a smile usually isn't anything but teeth.
"America's Sweethearts" revolves around a couple of Hollywood megastars, Gwen Harrison and Eddie Thomas, who've split up after years of marriage and starring in films together. Their most recent film is in jeopardy of being a bust not just because they've separated, but also because the psychotic director, Hal Weidman, is holding the film hostage. He demands the film be initially screened in front of the press, before even the studio executives, or Gwen and Eddie, are allowed the opportunity to view it. Dave Kingman, the head of the studio, has fired Lee Phillips - the only publicist capable of pulling off a press junket with both Gwen and Eddie in attendance. Lee's hapless replacement, Danny Wax, is way out of his league with no practical experience in pulling off major publicity events. Promising Lee anything but his custom-made golf cart, Kingman hires Lee back with the provision that he must get Gwen and Eddie to show up at the junket and greet the press. Complicating matters, Gwen is in lust with a Spaniard with a lisp, who fancies himself the next Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Eddie has been locked away in a clinic after trying to run over Gwen and her Spaniard.
The velociraptors of "Jurassic Park III" have nothing on Catherine Zeta Jones' character, Gwen. Gwen's cunning and deadly, with verbal talons sharper than any dinosaur's. Nauseatingly sweet to the press, she's anything but sweet to her mousy sister/personal assistant, Kiki, and her devastated soon-to-be-ex husband, Eddie. Gwen relies on Kiki for every part of her daily life - and when she calls for Kiki it's worse than fingernails on a chalkboard. Gwen is so narcissistic that it's sickeningly funny to watch her fake concern for the people around her.
Kiki is the polar opposite of Gwen. Kiki's sincere, loving, and without pretense. Kiki's job is to anticipate everything her sister could possibly want, and to placate Gwen's insistent need for positive reinforcement. Kiki does this without complaint, but soon finds herself in the middle of Gwen and Eddie's breakup. To make matters worse, she finds herself falling for Eddie at the same time as Gwen is considering giving their relationship a second chance.