How short is to short? I don't know, but in Heartbreakers Jennifer Love Hewitt's skirt has reached the theoretical limit. Fortunately, unlike her ancient costar Sigourney Weaver, at least Hewitt is a certified hottie and not a weathered old crone.
Heartbreakers stars the rapidly deteriorating Sigourney Weaver and the bouncing Jennifer Love Hewitt as a mother daughter team of hot temptresses who make their living scamming rich men into short-lived marriages. Think Dirty Rotten Scoundrels with bikinis. Sadly, in order for a movie about a pair of sexy temptresses to be successful, the film must actually have a pair of sexy actresses to play hot babes. Heartbreakers has only one... and its not Sigourney Weaver. Do the math. Yes, age has finally caught up with Ms. Weaver, apparently not only stripping her of good looks, but acting ability as well. When I wasn't cringing in horror at the sight of Sigourney in an ill fitting teddy, I found myself weeping softly as she flubbed another line with a flat, devoid delivery.
By contrast, Jennifer Love Hewitt is a joy to behold. Often dismissed as just another pair of torpedoes, Hewitt surprised this Hobbit by turning in a stellar performance. He portrayal was believable, insightful, and DAMN GOOD. Even in the face of disgustingly weak and uninspired recitation from her supposedly veteran costar, and intimidatingly perfect crankiness from Gene Hackman, Hewitt shoulders her load admirably. Striding confidently onto the screen in 6 inch heels and a panty teasing, short skirt, Hewitt grabs her audience right by the balls, and doesn't let go till she floats off the screen, leaving us only to count the moments until her blessed return.
But even the bold Ms. Hewitt and the crotchety Mr. Hackman couldn't totally save Heartbreakers from an untimely demise. On some levels, Heartbreakers succeeds. There are some good laughs, some terribly uncomfortable moments involving Hackman and a cement penis, and even a little Shakespearean romance to tug away at Joe Public's heart. Yet, in the final analysis it never all quite comes together. Is there something wrong with the script? Was the whole thing just a bad idea to begin with? Hardly. Heartbreakers is a decent film after all. However, one can't help but feel a mystical sense of wrongheadedness about the whole thing. Most of the blame for this falls squarely on the editing, which fails utterly to set the proper mood for this type of film. For instance, rather than lighthearted comedic music, the audience is repeatedly subjected to heavy beats and weird synthesizer noises, sounds you'd more often expect to find in a James Bond film than a rascally comedy about two sex pots ripping off wealthy old bachelors. Frequently the film grinds from scene to scene, without bothering to look for a good point to do so, or even attempting some kind of reasonable seguay into the next act. Lighting is flat, starry sky backgrounds look incredibly fake... at times the director doesn't even attempt to make the his flick look like its not a sound stage. Perhaps he simply hoped no one would notice.
Jennifer Love Hewitt has proved she's more than just a pretty face and a pair of big balloons, and Hackman has once again proved he'll do just about any script you give him and do great with it. Heartbreakers isn't a dismal failure, in fact, its actually funny, which seems to be a rare comedy in theatres these days. But the Hobbit would be a lot happier if Sigourney Weaver wore a more concealing dress.
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