Elaine Lennon from Mondo Movies is the Balzac of the film reviewing fraternity. It’s my pleasure to share a Pfeiffer film review from her extensive archive.
“Let’s do this right. Let me freshen up so I’ll feel a little more like a woman and less like a dead mommy.” Melanie Parker (Michelle Pfeiffer) is a divorced mom and architect who needs to give a very important presentation. Jack Taylor (George Clooney) is a divorced father and newspaper columnist looking to land a big scoop for his story about the mob. Both are single parents whose children, Sammy (Alex D. Linz) and Maggie (Mae Whitman), respectively, miss the bus for a field trip. They wind up left with their kids on a hectic day. They decide to put aside their bickering and juggle baby-sitting duties, but the children don’t make it easy as they dislike each other and disappear while their parents’ identical mobile phones complicate the situation …
This somewhat tiresome rom-com spin on screwballs past is saved by two wonderful performances – Pfeiffer in particular makes this fun instead of the rather formulaic single-parent family downer comedy it is at is heart. The kids are good characters but the situations from Terrel Seltzer and Ellen Simon’s screenplay are pat and predictable although NYC gets a great showcase.
Pfeiffer produced this so it was a conscious beefing up of her brand. Clooney is quite impressive as the love interest but it was before he refined his look and skill and he doesn’t make the kind of impact you’d expect although the pair have undoubted chemistry. There are some bright spitballing exchanges: “Men like you have made me the woman I am/All the women I know like you have made me think all women are like you.” They’re delivered with relish and enliven a less than classic rom-com. Directed by Michael Hoffman.