Love Stinks

Directed by Jeff Franklin
Starring: French Stewart, Bridgette Wilson, Bill Bellamy, Tyra Banks.
MPAA Rating: R for language and sexual content.

Review by Matt Heffernan
September 11, 1999

If you show a movie, and nobody laughs, is it a comedy?

Love Stinks starts with two couples taking a plane to Las Vegas. Seth (French Stewart) and Chelsea (Bridgette Wilson) are getting married there, and Larry (Bill Bellamy) and Holly (Tyra Banks) are going along to be witnesses. Larry tries to convince Seth to call off the wedding while they are on the plane. To do this, he tells him the story of their relationship (as if he didn't remember).

Flashback about two years ago. At the wedding rehearsal for Larry and Holly, Seth and Chelsea are introduced, and by the next dawn, they are a couple. Chelsea desperately wants to get married, so she manipulates Seth, moves in, and continually pressures him to propose. They go through this whole thing... blah, blah, blah... Fatal Attraction... yadda, yadda, yadda... you get the picture.

Wait right there! Don't start thinking this is a parody of Fatal Attraction -- not in the least. It's trying to be a zany romantic comedy in which the couple hate each other. Unfortunately, this "original" concept is just not funny. Lame attempts are made at comedy, but it is actually more effective as suspense.

By "more effective", I really mean "less defective". The only reason to continue watching is to see in what stupid way they all manage to get on the plane. Within the film, there is a sitcom that Stewart and Bellamy are supposed to be writing. I get the impression that it was meant to be a satire of bad TV, when in actuality, it was much funnier than the film, itself. Stewart and Bellamy are both very funny men, but they are trying to play it straight, which doesn't work. The film depends on the women, especially Wilson, to generate the comedy. Of course, that just doesn't work. Comedians are supposed to be funny, models are supposed to be pretty -- that's it. But nobody told that to writer/director Jeff Franklin, the sadist who brought us "Full House".

Here's my advice to Franklin: don't try to satirize something of which you are the worst perpetrator.

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Love Stinks (1999/I)

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Review © 1999 Matt Heffernan