Volume 90, Issue 81

Tuesday, February 18, 1997



Sailing on a friend-ly ship of fools

Gazette file photo
JUST TAKING THINGS SLOW AND EASY. Matthew Perry and Salma Hayek get to know each other a little better in the rather appropriately titled Fools Rush In.

Fools Rush In
Directed by Andy Tennant
Starring Matthew Perry and Salma Hayek
At Wellington 8, 7 and 9:35 p.m.

Undoubtedly, Thursday's couch potatoes will mash their way through the snow to see Matthew Perry make his big screen debut. As Chandler, one of the stars of Friends, he is sure to be a big draw in Fools Rush In. But much like the title suggests there is no rush to see this flick.

Make no mistake – this is Chandler in a movie. He rarely strays from his character which can be seen every week. This is not necessarily his fault since he doesn't have much to work with script-wise. Perhaps he could be blamed for choosing such a weak film with which to begin his movie career.

Salma Hayek (Desperado) is attractive enough to make women consider switching teams. But even her beauty, combined with Perry's cuteness, is not enough to sustain a feature-length film. Of course, this movie has its share of funny moments, but they're separated by strings of predictable plot which could not be woven together to make a scarf.

Alex Whitman (Perry) and Isabel Fuentes (Hayek) end up in Las Vegas by different circumstances. They meet standing in line for the washroom, have a cute interchange and drop a few poignant lines about fate. At this point alarms go off to the tune of "this is the theme of the movie." They have a one night stand and she leaves without a trace.

Three months later Fuentes returns with news that she's bearing a child. At this moment Alex Whitman turns into Chandler. His gesticulations and verbal fumblings mirror his television character so much that you'd swear Courtney Cox is just about to step on screen.

Isabel splits as presumably she wants a different response. Alex chases her, catches her, spews some stuff about love and fate to her and then they get married shotgun style. This is Vegas remember. The rest of the movie dwells on the trials and tribulations of the two lovers (the operative word being dwells) as they battle cultural barriers, their parents and their own habits of alienating each other. Perry and Hayek do develop some admirable chemistry, though it would not be a difficult chore pretending to fall in love with Hayek.

Much ado is made throughout the movie about reading signs. During a sequence when Alex and Isabel are separated, a series of signs appear that will thrill followers of The Celestine Prophecy. Other movie goers will cringe at the predictability and amazing sequence of coincidences. Essentially, it probably takes longer to watch the latter half of the movie than it did to write it.

The supporting cast is a non-factor, not that it had much to work with. There are enough weak cornball lines to fill the canyons the characters keep talking about bridging throughout the film.

Just because Hollywood puts out a romantic-comedy does it have the right to churn out formulaic junk? If you have the star of one of the hottest sitcoms plus one of the hottest actors in Salma Hayek, the above question becomes rhetorical. Elvis is turning in his grave (or bed depending on your beliefs). If you're the type to read signs check this one out: Wait until this comes out on video.

–Carey Weinberg

To Contact The Entertainment Department: gazent@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1997