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A Lot Like Love

A Lot Like Crap

Every once in a while a film comes along that elicits a powerful response from viewers. The film induces groans, cringes, and powerful urges to flee the theater at all costs. A Lot Like Love falls handily into this category. One could characterize this film as a romantic comedy. But, A Lot Like Love is neither romantic nor funny. There are other more apt adjectives that can be used to describe this film such as vapid, shallow, and inept.

Oliver (Ashton Kutcher) is en route to visit his brother in New York when he spots an unusual looking girl, Emily (Amanda Peet) engaged in a lover’s spate. Oliver is intrigued by her for reasons one can only guess. While waiting for their plane, the two make lengthy eye contact. Once airborne, Emily attacks Oliver in the bathroom…again, for reasons one can only guess. The only thing I could come up with is that both actors are conventionally attractive and given the genre, it’s obligatory that they end up screwing and no other explanation is required.

After joining the ‘Mile High’ club, Oliver and Emily go their separate ways, but not before Oliver gives Emily his parent’s number as he assures her he’s going to be a big success in a few years. Invariably the two end up connecting a few more times over the course of several years and invariably, the timing is always wrong.

There are so many things wrong with A Lot Like Love, it’s staggering. Ashton Kutcher comes across as a semi-stoned dolt throughout most of the film. It seems there’s a school of thought in Hollywood that a good leading man should have nothing interesting to say, have an empty, vacant look on his face most of the time, and generally behave like a mindless drone. Kutcher epitomizes this school of thought.

This is not to say that Amanda Peet’s Emily is any kind of a catch either. In addition to having a weird attraction to the aforementioned semi-stoner dolt, Emily seems more than a bit insecure. She initially attacks Oliver minutes after breaking up with her boyfriend in the airport and does something frightfully similar the second time these two lost souls connect. To Amanda’s credit she at least makes Emily a bit more likable (but no more interesting) than Ashton’s Oliver.

Unappealing characters is just the tip of the iceberg, unfortunately. The dialogue is uninteresting and obnoxious. The story is as implausible as they come. The resolution to this mess is contrived and transparent. A Lot Like Love is in the early lead for worst film of the year and is a lot like a complete waste of time.