Volume 94, Issue 99
Tuesday, March 27, 2001
|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Heartbreakers treats eyes, not mind
Gazette File Photo
MY DAUGHTER'S DRESS IS TOO TIGHT - THERE'S NOT ENOUGH OXYGEN GOING TO HER BRAIN! Moments before Jennifer Love Hewitt pops her top in the new movie, Heartbreakers, co-star Sigourney Weaver saves the day.
Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Gene Hackman
Directed By: David Mirkin
By Anne Lee
In the new comedy Heartbreakers, the mother-daughter team of Max (Sigourney Weaver) and Page (Jennifer Love Hewitt) break men's hearts while coming dangerously close to busting out of their shirts in nearly every scene.
But there is a reason for Heartbreakers' Wonderbra endorsement. The stars' vixen personas are central to their cons.
Step one: Max, the mother, entices a wealthy, lonely man into marriage with a mysterious smile and seductive allure, but falls asleep on the wedding night.
Step two: Page, the daughter, tempts the sexually frustrated husband into cheating with low necklines and high hem lines.
Step three: Max conveniently walks in at the beginning of the affair.
Step four: immediate divorce, and voila huge settlement.
Just when the pair decide to go solo and split their money, the Internal Revenue Service catches up with them and seizes their savings. So, Max and Page head to Palm Beach for one last scam. They target tobacco tycoon William Tensy, fittingly portrayed by Gene Hackman.
With a cigarette constantly dangling from his mouth, Hackman literally hacks and coughs his way through each of his scenes. The injection of true love, back-stabbings and an unexpected death adds to the fun and spices up the action.
Weaver is surprisingly competent, handling her dual roles of mature mother and sophisticated seductress with ease. She manages to fool her targets with a coy smile, while implying her malicious intent to the audience.
Love Hewitt, however, is awful and annoying. Her attempt at a hard-edged, conceited attitude is pathetically over-exaggerated. But director David Mirkin sidesteps her inept acting abilities by showcasing her best (and only) asset her body.
Heartbreakers' heavy reliance on sex appeal is both its strength and its weakness. The hilarity of the movie lies in the reactions of hormone-charged men to Max and Page. With a flip of the hair, a sway of the hips and a little pout, men are reduced to drooling slaves.
Unfortunately, the emphasis of sexual allure limits the creativity of the cons. By definition, scams are supposed to be ingenious and unconventional, but Max and Page's deceptions are not original. They suggest any woman with a tight dress and a tube of mascara can pull them off. Their other ploys, such as receiving complimentary meals by slipping broken glass into the food, fail to impress due to their lack of imagination.
The writers of Heartbreakers failed to tap the full potential of the movie. Further insights into a con artist's way of life would have greatly increase the audience's interest, as the con artists' lack of integrity comes as no surprise to the audience.
If you want to see the classic con movie, rent The Sting. If you're simply in the mood for shallow fun with busty women, see Heartbreakers.
Copyright © The Gazette 2000