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New Rental: Fool’s Gold

December 12, 2008


Fool’s gold is actually pyrite which is derived from the Greek word for fire. Pyrite creates a spark when hit against steel or flint.

However, unlike the actual rock, the film of the same title does not quite hit that same spark. Instead, the title pretty much gives away more about the audience spending their hard earned money than any plot forced on them in this not so epic action romantic comedy.

Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson are repaired after their successful 2003 hit, How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days. But unlike the first romantic comedy, the romance and the comedy fail to entice in Fool’s Gold. Director Andy Tennant has an ongoing history of mediocre romantic comedies (Hitch, Sweet Home Alabama, Fools Rush In, Ever After) that have all been films that I didn’t mind watching but didn’t go crazy for (well minus Ever After – I can watch that anytime!).

So going into it, I wasn’t expecting much. Luckily I was not disappointed.

After the success of their divorce, a couple’s love is rekindled (ahh pyrite!) while on a treasure hunt helped by the funding of  Nigel Honeycutt and his semi-celeb (think Paris Hilton) Gemma Honeycutt. Perhaps the only wistful and lovely moment is when Honeycutt (played by Donald Sutherland) sees the text his daughter (Alexis Dziena) is sending to a friend about being bored by being stuck with her dad. Sutherland, because he is Sutherland, has this forlorn, broken look for a brief moment before hiding it away.

However, pretty much the rest of the character development that takes up the first half of the film is unneccesary and could be completely cut with just about 5-10 minutes instead. Then the remaining half that involves the history and clues leading to the treasure could be developed into a fun movie. But the problem is, the first half lost the audiences who probably never got to the good parts at the end.

But what explains quite a bit of the problem of why the romantic comedy part of this film doesn’t work is that the two writers, Daniel Zelman (married to Debra Messing) and John Claflin’s previous writing credits include Anacondas 2 and They Nest, not exactly sexy funny tales.

But imagine if they had written the tale as a horror film. How clever that would have been. Dead pirates attacking, a large snake coming out of the ocean and eating Gemma Honeycutt. Oh to dream.

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