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Hampered by a poor script.

Because I said so

(12a, 101 mins) Comedy/Romance. Diane Keaton, Mandy Moore, Gabriel Macht, Tom Everett Scott, Lauren Graham, Piper Perabo, Stephen Collins. Director: Michael Lehmann.

"God couldn't be everywhere, so that's why he invented mothers," says Daphne Wilder, the meddling matriarch at the emotional heart of Michael Lehmann's misfiring romantic comedy.

"That was on a Hallmark card we gave you", responds one of Daphne's daughters wearily ( a charge that could be levelled against much of the dialogue in Because I Said So, the vapid tale of a girl torn between two different suitors.

The crux of every good romantic comedy should be a seemingly insurmountable obstacle that separates the leading characters until the final frames. In the case of Lehmann's film, that obstacle is Karen Leigh Hopkins and Jessie Nelson's poorly constructed script that paints the character of Daphne as an unsympathetic, shrill harpy.

Doting mother-of-three Daphne Wilder (Keaton) knows all about making mistakes with the opposite sex, but has somehow managed to bring up three beautiful and talented daughters.

While her eldest children, Maggie (Graham) and Mae (Perabo), have their lives in order and wedding rings on their fingers, her youngest, ditzy caterer Milly (Moore), has enjoyed little success in love. If they're not married or insecure, her boyfriends turn out to be gay.

Unsettled by her impending 60th birthday ( "Why are we celebrating my dissent into oblivion?" ( Daphne channels all of her energy into finding Milly the perfect man by secretly placing an online advertisement. Handsome architect Jason (Scott) is the pick of the bunch and Milly seems to fall for his charms, unaware her mother is pulling strings behind the scenes. Then musician Johnny (Macht) wanders onto the scene, throwing Daphne's plans into disarray.

Because I Said So splutters from one lack lustre misadventure to the next, never finding its comic timing as Milly dithers between her two beaus.

If you or a loved one come down with a nasty case of post-Valentine's blues this weekend, and hanker for a dose of romance, give this film the cold shoulder. Because I said so.

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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Feb 16, 2007
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