out of 4
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Alex and Emma
Review by Susan Granger
2 stars out of 4
Kate Hudson is Hollywood's newest Golden Girl whose face adorns numerous
magazine covers, and sexy Luke Wilson's wry smile has set hearts a-flutter both
on and off the screen. So why they chose this only moderately amusing romantic
comedy is, indeed, a mystery.
Structured like "Adaptation," but without the orchid-hunter, it's the
story of an eccentric writer, Alex (Wilson), whose gambling debts have led to
the destruction of his computer and endangered his life. In order to pay off
Cuban Mafia thugs in 30 days, he must finish his novel about the powerlessness
of being in love. So he hires a stenographer, Emma (Hudson), who has her own
ideas about his fictional characters. Soon their life in Boston begins to
imitate the art he's creating. Set in 1924, the novel-within-the-movie is about
a teacher, Adam (Wilson), who takes a sabbatical from Andover to travel to St.
Charles island to tutor the children of a frivolous, French fortune-hunter
Polina Delacroix (Sophie Marceau), who finds him fascinating. But he's also
attracted to her alluring au-pair (Hudson). Which woman will he choose?
According to director/producer Rob Reiner, screenwriter Jeremy Leven ("The
Legend of Bagger Vance") loosely based the idea on the real-life drama that
propelled Fyodor Dostoevsky's writing of "The Gambler." Like Alex, Dostoevsky
was a bettor who fell in love with his stenographer. In their various
incarnations, both Kate Hudson and Luke Wilson are engaging, and I suppose if
there hadn't been Charlie Kaufman's "Adaptation," the off-beat concept would
have been innovative. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Alex & Emma" is a
sweet if insipid 5. A romantic triangle-times-two equals only a moderately
captivating date movie.
Copyright © 2003 Susan Granger
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