Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Director Amy Heckerling will always have place in the heart of every single boy who was a teenager at some time in the 1980’s because she had the incredible foresight, in her first feature film ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High’, to show us Phoebe Cates tiny breasts.  Genius!  In addition to that ‘Fast Times’ also had Academy Award winners Sean Penn, Nicholas Cage and Forest Whittaker in the cast as well, though admittedly neither of those young men were close to sniffing gold statues back then.  Ms. Heckerling, who is certainly a veteran of ‘The Business’ has returned with her first film in 7 years with ‘I Could Never be Your Woman’ A RomCom which interestingly enough tells the tale of an older divorced single mother, who is the producer of a semi popular teenage TV show called ‘You Go girl’ starring a character played by actress Stacy Dash, and falling for a younger man who is on this sitcom of hers.  Hmmmm… Would you believe that Amy Heckerling is an older divorced single mother who was the producer of a semi popular teen TV show named ‘Clueless’ starring Stacy Dash?  Can you say cathartic therapy through artistic expression?  I sure can.  Now I need to scour the cast of ‘Clueless’ to find out who this younger man is.  It’s not Donald Faison is it?  It can’t be…

Rosie, as played by the always lovely Michelle Pfeiffer, is as we have mentioned a forty something producer of a floundering TV show which is in desperate need of some infusion.  She is also loosely raising her eleven-year-old daughter Izzie (Saoirse Ronan), dealing with her ex-husband (Jon Lovitz) who wanders in and out of the house occasionally taking stuff, trying to satisfy the spoiled star of her show (Dash), appease the unreasonable demands of the studio’s network director (Fred Willard) and also deal with the mystical Mother Nature (Traci Ullman) who is always lurking around dispensing sage advice.

Infusion for ‘You Go Girl’ arrives in the form of Adam (Paul Rudd) who has a natural comic charm and easy going nature that catches Rosie’s eye.  Though She’s fifteen years his senior, and despite the advice of Mother Nature, Rosie and Adam begin a fun but somewhat tumultuous relationship with the tumultuousness being provided solely by Rosie’s mounting insecurities.  Adding to Rosie’s stress of this new relationship and her floundering show, her little Izzie has now passed on to ‘Womanhood’ has taken a liking to boys and would like to know from her mother when she can start having sex.  Zaniness and Mayhem ensues as all these divergent elements collide, leaving us to wonder will Rosie ever find true happiness.

I had some problems with this movie, but it was mostly personal and I’ll get to that a little later but as far as the movie itself goes this was a very harmless, reasonably entertaining romantic comedy that rises a bit above the genre due to the strength of its leads Pfeiffer and Rudd, with fine support provided by the winsome Soairse Ronan and the ubiquitous Fred Willard.  ‘I Could Never be Your Woman’ plays almost like an insiders view of the inner workings of TV land in Hollywood – and maybe too much on the inside as I’m sure folks in that Biz probably got a lot more of the jokes than the majority of us who exist outside that little world ended up getting.  It was kind of funny though watching Stacy Dash who is on the bright side of Forty (for real) and Paul Rudd on the dark side thirty playing high school students and the make-up crew spray painting a six-pack on Dash’s abdomen to further sell the illusion of her as a sixteen year-old. 

Personally though, and perhaps because I’m a hard-ass as a parent, just ask my son, I wasn’t completely comfortable with Rosie’s relationship with her daughter.  I can’t conceptualize my child disobeying me to level that Izzie would disregard Rosie and then having to negotiate the punishment with said child.  THEN having said child say that punishment agreed upon was ‘excessive’ and me agreeing with her.  Or being called to down to school because of my child’s freewheeling foul language and somehow finding fault with the teacher and using my own brand of freewheeling foul language on this inconsiderate teacher who for some reason wants this children not to curse in class.  There are other examples but I suppose that’s how child rearing goes out there in Hollywood.  I guess Lindsey, Britney, Paris and Nicole begat from somewhere.

My little personal niggles aside, and being that I’m about as big a Paul Rudd apologist as there is, as far a Romantic Comedies go you can do way worse than ‘I Could Never be Your Woman’.  Now as for that male cast member from ‘Clueless’…, and if it’s not Donald Faison, then who in the hell could it be…?

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