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ALEX AND EMMA

If a minor writer with a major gambling disorder doesn’t complete a novel within 30 days, he’ll be bumped off by the Cuban Mafia.

CAST: Kate Hudson, Luke Wilson, Sophie Marceau, David Paymer, Alexander Wauthier, Leili Kramer, Rip Taylor, Gigi Birmingham, Jordan Lund, Rob Reiner, Lobo Sebastian, Chino XL, Francois Giroday, Cloris Leachman, Robert Costanzo

DIRECTOR: Rob Reiner

 

"‘Alex and Emma’ is a literary-minded romantic comedy that barely passes English, and flunks chemistry. It's a movie about a novelist writing a novel about another novelist, so it is chock-full of words. But those words are blathered by the sleep-inducing Luke Wilson and the already-snoring Kate Hudson. The words don't stand a chance…How much longer will Hudson get by on the good will she earned in ‘Almost Famous’? She hasn't managed an interesting moment since then…Wilson is a low-heat version of his goofy, blond and broken-nosed brother, Owen, who might have made this guy funny. Luke just wears the clothes, checks his profile and reads the lines." --Roger Moore, The Baltimore Sun

"Hudson and Wilson's chemistry wouldn't light a cigarette. They aren't just charmless; they make you feel like they loathe being in the same room together. He's flat-out awful, a dime-store Alec Baldwin at best, and her performance is mostly a matter of narrowing her eyes. --Eleanor Ringel Gillespie, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"The movie's enervated wackiness is like a trip on a ghost ship, cruising past markers of What Once Was…There's so little chemistry between Mr. Wilson and Ms. Hudson that you begin to look back on what now seems like the halcyon time of ‘How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days’…To see a movie straining so hollowly to evoke the feel-good chumminess of Mr. Reiner's past romantic comedy success is disheartening…‘Alex and Emma’ wants couples to snuggle together while giggling through the stars' machine-tooled differences that ultimately won't keep them apart. The picture is desperate to be a Date Night event, but it feels more like a Last Date movie." --Elvis Mitchell, The New York Times

"This tedious romantic comedy, loosely adapted from a Dostoevsky short story, keeps Hudson and co-star Luke Wilson mostly confined to quarters…This is a movie full of tin-eared humor and situations too contrived to give romance a toehold…The story briefly comes to life whenever Hudson appears as the au pair girl of the novel in progress.
In a running gag, she affects a different accent and demeanor each time, and the memory of her adorableness is all there is to cling to as ‘Alex and Emma’ slogs along." --Jami Bernard, The New York Daily News

"It is neither remotely romantic nor comic…you'll leave ‘Alex and Emma’ feeling as if you've spent a couple of decades interned in a gulag…The movie's biggest crime -- and there should be punishment for this one -- is its misuse of Hudson, an actress who has threatened to put the new in ingenue in a string of romantic comedies that haven't deserved her. Nothing Hudson tries can light up this loser, and when she finally resorts to pouty puppydog adorable, we can feel her pain." --Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press

"… a ripoff of last year's ‘Adaptation’ and the 1964 William Holden-Audrey Hepburn comedy, ‘Paris When It Sizzles,’ which had virtually the same plot, structure and characters …The one bright spot here is Hudson, who has a flair for comedy and has infectious fun making the most of the multiple roles the script gives her…Wilson is lackluster, the film's depiction of the collaborative process is (unlike ‘Adaptation’) tortuously false, and it's so disrespectful to the realities of writing and publishing that it has no satiric bite." --William Arnold, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

" ‘Alex and Emma’ presents itself as a romantic comedy about a writer who's having problems producing what turns out to be an excellent book. In reality, it is a not particularly comic or romantic film about the writing of a truly tedious novel. This is double trouble with a vengeance…‘Alex and Emma’ has precious little to recommend it. Wilson and Hudson have been appealing elsewhere and doubtless will be so again, but they can't escape the morass of Leven's whiny script, and neither can the film." --Kenneth Turan, The Los Angeles Times

"The lens loves Hudson; whether she can act is another matter. Half the time she does a bad Meg Ryan; the other half she's a watered-down Sandra Bullock, which is not meant to be praise. The bravest thing Hudson does in this movie is appear as a brunette… the underrated Reiner, who made ‘This Is Spinal Tap,’ ‘The Sure Thing,’ ‘When Harry Met Sally’ -- memorable movies all -- has made this silly slice of Lean Cuisine. And that, in the end, makes ‘Alex and Emma’ an utter tragedy." --Karen Heller, Philadelphia Inquirer

"How bad is this movie? You wouldn't want me to count the ways. Life's too short…The inside story is weak, dull and head-poundingly boring, and the outside story is only slightly better, thanks to the lukewarm likability of its two stars." --Desson Howe, The Washington Post

"It might have been a funny idea for the novelist to actually steal ‘The Great Gatsby,’ confident that neither the gamblers nor his publisher would recognize it, but funny ideas are not easy to come by in ‘Alex & Emma’… So the story is a bore. The act of writing the story is also a bore…Reiner has made wonderful movies in the past and even wonderful romantic comedies…He will make wonderful movies in the future. He has not, however, made a wonderful movie in the present." --Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times