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Because I Said So

Looking for Mr. Right

Nothing says "chick flick" like a film where the end-all, be-all for the female characters is heterosexual monogamy. Directed by Michael “I Directed Heathers” Lehmann (40 Days and 40 Nights, The Truth About Cats and Dogs), Because I Said So tells us everything we need to know from the first scene, an outdoor wedding that introduces the major characters. In case we weren't paying attention, the second scene gives us a second wedding. Each time, though, the focus isn't on the woman getting married but on the overbearing, controlling, manipulative Daphne (Diane Keaton) and the victim of her intense devotion and suffocating attention, Milly (Mandy Moore), her youngest daughter.

As it turns out, Daphne is about to turn 60 and she wants Milly to have what she doesn't have and hasn't had for years, a long-term relationship with a willing member of the opposite sex. After all, her two other daughters, Maggie (Lauren Graham) and Mae (Piper Perabo), have followed the monogamy script. While Mae doesn't seem to have a job, Maggie has a burgeoning practice as a psychologist. Milly, on the other hand, has been in and out of one bad relationship after another, but that hasn't stopped her from running her own successful catering business. Concerned that Milly won't find "Mr. Right" on her own, Daphne takes the next logical step, placing a personal ad online for her instead.

After interviewing close to twenty potential suitors (cue montage), all unsuitable for her daughter, at a hotel bar, Daphne settles on the seemingly perfect candidate, Jason (Tom Everett Scott). A successful architect, Jason charms Daphne with his attitude and language skills. While waiting for the next interviewee, Daphne chats up Johnny (Gabriel Macht), a musician playing at the bar. Sight unseen, he develops an interest in Milly, under the assumption that Daphne’s efforts must somehow reflect Milly’s charms. Daphne prefers the more serious-minded, better off Jason, but before she knows it, Milly's dating both Jason and Johnny and is torn between making her mother happy and making herself happy. No points for guessing where Because I Said So ends up. It's a romantic comedy after all.

Meanwhile, Daphne's self-imposed celibacy and "everything for my daughters" attitude gets a makeover when she meets Johnny's single dad, Joe (Stephen Collins). It's not particularly believable, less because of any chemistry issue between Keaton and Collins and more because their scenes together take up so little screen time. Because I Said So ends like it begins, with tribulations overcome, differences mended, and a cheery, beachside wedding.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars