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If Only

Sony Pictures // PG-13 // May 9, 2006
List Price: $24.96 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Scott Weinberg | posted June 18, 2006 | E-mail the Author
The Movie

If Only this weren't one of the sappiest, stupidest, silliest, and most vacuously meaningless romantic comedies I've ever had the misfortune to waste 96 minutes of my life upon ... I'd have some nicer things to say about If Only.

Starring and produced by Jennifer Love Hewitt, a gal who can presently only make it into multiplexes by way of Garfield sequels, If Only aims to be one of those "ethereal" rom-coms not unlike Chances Are or Just Like Heaven, but to say it fails on every conceivable front would imply that a whole lot of effort was actually made. This flick looks like it was shot before it was written and released before it was finished.

Love plays aspiring musician Samantha Andrews, who is currently knee-deep in love with her very busy British boyfriend. Ian seems to take Same for granted a whole heckuva lot these days, but when she interrupts a crucial meeting at work (in a painful sequence that runs thrice as long as it should because the screenplay is so bad), the guy's at the end of his rope. But just as Sam and Ian look like they're about to call it quits ... a car comes out of nowhere and smashes Sam to death. Ian, obviously, feels a little crappy about the situation.

Until tomorrow morning, that is! Because that's when Sam pops back up, looking perfectly perky in her strategically placed skivvies. But wait a minute! Didn't this chick just get smashed to death by an errant automobile? What gives?

Well, it seems that Ian's been given a second chance to realize how amazingly flawlessly perfect and dreamy Sam really is, and the guy uses the opportunity to get all lovey-dovey and kissy-face. Pure estrogen-laced wish-fulfillment all the way, If Only feels like the movie version of the statement "One day I'll be dead and you'll wish you were nicer to me!" And all I can say to that is, oh shut up.

Plus for a romantic dramedy, there's no sense of sincere romance or comepelling drama, and there's even less in wit & comedy department -- unless you consider Ms. Hewitt's consistently inept performances a special form of entertaining. Which I sorta do.

The DVD

Video: Sony presents this glorified Lifetime Channel production in the only format necessary: A grainy, bloated, and generally unappealing fullscreen transfer.

Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 English, with optional subtitles in English and French.

Extras: Just a bunch of previews for Rent, The Pink Panther, 13 Going on 30, and Hitch ... just in case you thought Sony only made good movies.

Final Thoughts

If Only this thing didn't suck on all cylinders, I'd say rent it. Alas, Skip It.

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C O N T E N T

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