Because I Said So DVD: Review By Brian Gallagher

Some fine performances from everyone involved, but especially from Diane Keaton, and a nice modernized premise.
  • OVERALL
    1.5
    POOR
  • Feature
  • Extras
  • Replay Value
THE GOOD
Some fine performances from everyone involved, but especially from Diane Keaton, and a nice modernized premise.
THE BAD
A cookie-cutter script that doesn't really run with the modernized premise as much as it should, and some dopey features.
THE FEATURE
Try not to be surprised, but I didn't catch this particular flick in the theaters. I know, shocking, ain't it? Call me crazy, but I had a sneaking suspscion that this might just be a "chick flick." I know it sounds weird, but I just had a hunch that a movie with Diane Keaton, Mandy Moore, Lauren Graham and Piper Perabo playing a mom and daughters, written by two of the writers on Stepmom and directed by the guy who helmed The Truth About Cats & Dogs... would be a chick flick. But yes, my susp*cions were not unfounded, as this is a chick flick and, not too good of one at that.

They start this flick off with a very unnecessary 5 minutes or so with the elder sisters, Maggie and Mae (Lauren Graham and Piper Perabo) getting married with the mother, Daphne (Diane Keaton) being neurotic and the baby sister (Mandy Moore) just not being good with guys. It sets us up like we're watching a TV show or something, and they set us up for all this not too long after, so it's really pointless. Anyway, since Maggie and Mae are happily hitched, Daphne, divorced and single for many many years, turns her neuroses on Millie, hopelessly single, although somewhat successful with her own catering business. She's beautiful and talented and all that, but she has a series of quirks about her, like a painfully nervous laugh/snort thing and her overuse of certain words like "great." So, when Millie pronounces that she's given up and is happy to be single, Daphne takes matters into her own hands, putting out an internet ad saying she's looking for someone for her daughter. Through trial and error and coincidal circ*mstances, the young Millie has two suitors beckoning: Jason (Tom Everett Scott), a wealthy, stuffy architecht who her mother chose, and Johnny (Gabriel Macht), a carefree guitarist with a young son, who just happened to be playing at the place where Daphne was meeting all those guys and swiped one of her daughter's cards and there we go. So, Millie starts dating both guys, unaware of her mother's meddling, and... well, you can probably figure out what happens. That's part of the main problem.

These movies never seem to stray from the given formula at all. It's very rare when I even think about trying to predict what will happen in a movie. It only happens when I'm not entertained enough and need something else to do, or if it just fits the same mold we've seen over and over again, or, usually, a combination of both. That being said, you can figure out the broad strokes of what's going to happen after the first 30 minutes or so, after we meet the two suitors. Yeah, writers Jessie Nelson and Karen Leigh Hopkins throw us a few tiny twists here and there, but nothing that doesn't impede the predictable end result. We get some witty little scenes here with decent dialogue, and while the premise is fairly unique or, at least, modern, it all turns up the same as it always does in the end.

The acting here is really what makes this movie semi-watchable here. Diane Keaton is just immaculate here as an aging mother, trying desperately to lead her daughters into fulfilling relationships and lives. Her delivery and physical comedy are just sheer perfection and there's no one else who could've played this role. Period. Mandy Moore is just fine here as Millie, although it'd be nice to see her not playing such safe roles all the time, with the exception of Saved!. Lauren Graham, who's just delectable here and everything else she does, and Piper Perabo do fine jobs as well, but in much smaller roles and the guys hold their own as well with nice work from Tom Everett Scott, who doesn't work enough, Gabriel Macht and Stephen Collins.

Because I Said So is a movie about motherhood, love, growing up and letting go and the finite line that crosses through all of them. It's a sweet little movie, but one that takes us places we've already been before, even though it starts us off a tad differently than usual.
THE EXTRAS
We just get a few features here. The Making of Because I Said So is first up, and it's your garden-variety thing with all the main players like the actors and writers and directors talking about certain aspects of the movie and difficult parts and funny stuff and blah blah blah. The only thing that is really really odd about this, is that this featurette has a sponsor. I'm totally serious. It says it right on the menu that this is "Brought To You By Volkswagon" with their little logo next to it. Insane. Anyway, it's about 7 minutes long and there's a few nice tidbits here, but it's the same kind of feature we always see.

Designing a Wilder World is next, and it talks about production design and costume design and even the friggin cake design with the "cake divas." Wow. Anyway, it's 5 minutes long, or so, and it's just dumb, I thought.

OK. I have NO idea what this next thing is doing here, but iVillage Pregnancy Ad is a 30-second commercial for this site. I'm not sure if it's fake or not. I really don't care.

Lastly we have a Music Video "World Spins Madly On" By The Weepies. OK, this isn't a music video, folks. A music video INTERCUTS shots of the movie and shots of, you know, the actual video. This is just a song with a bunch of shots edited together at random. Lame.
THE VIDEO
The disc is presented in the anamorphic widescreen format, in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio.
THE AUDIO
The sound is handled through the Dolby Digital 5.1 format.
THE PACKAGE
Like the movie, nothing too fancy here. A big title card with a shot of Keaton and Moore take up the whole cover, save a critic's quote at the bottom. On the back we get a few random shots inside little bubbles, a synopsis, the bonus features box along with the billing block and tech specs. Blah.
THE FINAL WORD
If you're a big fan of any of the actors involved here, it might be worth a look-see, especially Diane Keaton. Otherwise, I really can't recommend it, unless, of course, you like to see how early you can predict stuff in movies.

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