, , , , , ,

in case you were wondering about the title of the movie...


Josh Hartnett, Radha Mitchell

Donald: It’s nice to obsess on something beautiful for a change.

Donald (Hartnett) is a high-functioning sufferer of Asperger’s Syndrome who has organized a regular group meeting with other people who have behavioral issues.  When Isabelle (Mitchell) joins the group, she and Donald begin a relationship.  Unfortunately, their conditions make it hard for them to find much success in romance.

This is one of those rare cases where something actually looks worse on paper than it does in reality.  Josh Hartnett…having to convincingly play an Asperger’s sufferer…in a romantic comedy.  Yikes.

But it’s not as bad as you’d think.  Not that it’s particularly good, but Hartnett and Mitchell both do an acceptable job.  The problem is the script.  The dramatic turns are too contrived and predictable.  They meet, are attracted to each other, he’s unsure of things and she has to be the pixie that draws him out of his shell and into a relationship.  Then they have troubles, but muscle past those problems.  Soon enough, though, there’s a bigger fight which results in a breakup.  Can he change and win her back?  Will she be able to get past her own issues and allow him back in her life?  Gee, I wonder…

Take away the mental disorder aspect of the movie and you’ve got nothing but a supremely dull romantic comedy.  Why not write a more interesting story line for these characters to follow.  They’re likable, for the most part, so why not have them get together and then face a challenge together?  Why the lazy relationship problems plot?

There are enough amusing and sweet moments that a better story could have lifted this movie to a higher level.  As it is, though, the amusing and sweet moments are the only good things in the movie.  Well, that and the two lead performances, though Radha Mitchell started to wear on my nerves about the 100th time she did her “HA!!” laugh.  Did nobody involved realize how annoying that is?

Asperger’s patients need love too…?

10 – 3.5 for having such a by the numbers plot – .4 for some annoying supporting performances = 6.1