Because I Said So
Cast: Diane Keaton, Mandy Moore, Gabriel Macht, Tom Everett Scott, Lauren Graham, Piper Perabo
Director: Michael Lehmann
SUNY Purchase '05
"I don't compromise my values and I don't compromise my work. I won't give in." -Michael Moore
Because I Said So
Review By: Rocco Passafuime
Because I Said So
The world of the romantic comedy has always revolved around making stories that are entertaining, yet as realistic enough as possible to relate to a casual audience. However, while this seems pleasing enough to random audiences going out on a Friday night to a movie theatre, this does not always make a particularly stellar film. The movie Because I Said So, which is now available on DVD, ends up being yet another entry in this batch.
Daphne Wilder (Diane Keaton) is a single mother dealing with her upcoming birthday and the fact that her three daughters are all in adulthood with their own lives. While elder daughters, Maggie (Lauren Graham) and Mae (Piper Perabo) are relatively settled down with mates, her youngest daughter Milly (Mandy Moore) is plagued by insecurity, naÃƒÂ¯veté, and bad luck.
The overbearing, but well-meaning Daphne tries to remedy Milly's woes by placing a personal ad to have her set up with guys that would be deemed as worthy suitors in her eyes. While Daphne's choice of boyfriend is the financially secure, but relatively straight-laced architect Jason, the more laid-back jazz musician Johnny (Gabriel Macht) overhears her matchmaking and pursues Milly himself.
With two cute guys practically landing on her lap, the wishy-washy Milly dates both of them with neither guy knowing that they aren't the only boyfriend. While Milly begins to gravitate towards Jason, her mother begins prodding her into dating the man, completely unbeknownst to her daughter, has picked for her.
On the surface, Because I Said So seems like your standard repetitive, but upbeat and pleasant, garden-variety romantic comedy. While the cast is by and large fantastic and completely salvages any chance of the film being unwatchable, the movie is completely hamstrung by a substandard and awkward script.
While the concept of a mother meddling in her young adult daughter's love life sounds like a great idea on paper, the film's bungled execution is ridden with flaws. For one, the dialogue is almost always cliché, if not mind-numbingly awful.
It constantly shifts between the most random and/or grating dialogue or punch lines that are often so lifeless that they are dead on arrival. Second, while Diane Keaton is a tremendously talented and likable actress, she only adds to how incredibly irritating her pompous mother character is with her supposedly "comic"Â flailing about.
On top of that, the seemingly simple enough plot is overstuffed with characters that by and large do little to help the story or, in particularly the latter group's case, only make the movie more irritating. The perfect examples of this are Milly's older sisters played by
The DVD's picture quality is in the 1:85:1 widescreen aspect ratio, with the sound quality in Dolby Digital Surround 5.1. The DVD is also packed with plenty of special features.
The first is a behind-the-scenes featurette titled The Making Of Because I Said So. The featurette is informative enough about how the film was conceived and put together and has spirited interviews from the cast and crew.
The second is a featurette titled Designing A Wilder World. The interviews with costume designer Shay Cunliffe and the cast and crew are detailed enough, but end up coming off as shallow and unnecessary as it's focused on the style end of the film.
The third special feature is a pregnancy commercial for the iVillage, which takes the cake for the most incoherent choice for a special feature I've ever seen on any DVD. Rounding off the special features is the music video for The Weepies song "World Spins Madly On"Â. While the song is nice to listen to, its inclusion is merely filler as it's nothing but clips from the film.
While most romantic comedies suffer from merely a corny and clichéd, yet fairly pleasant and upbeat vibe every so often you see one, Because I Said So is one of the more painful and grating romantic comedies to watch. The really unfortunate thing is had the writers really put more effort into the script, with the good concept and even greater cast set up here, this movie could have been much better than it ended up being.
Movie Grade: D
DVD Features Grade: B-
Overall Grade: C-