Scott Hardie: “It was ok.”

[Ending spoilers ahead.] As much as I disliked this predictable thriller, I would love to see a genuine behind-the-scenes expose about it, because I could swear the included ending isn't the original ending. It's not because it's unhappy, it's because the film so carefully sets up a procedural third act in which an innocent woman will be charged with her husband's death after she unwittingly planted clues that she's his killer all week long – an ending that would not sit well with Sandra Bullock's bland but loyal fanbase, so they pulled an American Beauty and dropped the courtroom drama in favor of a quickie epilogue that affirms the "value" of what came before, the heroine learning life lessons and the audience learning they should have seen a different movie.

Bullock likes safe formulas, but to her credit, she's very good at what she does, and here she inspires us to care about a woman standing at a moral crossroads – but she's hamstrung by the film's off-putting message about predetermination: She causes her own unhappy ending, and yet she is powerless not to cause it. Some would say the film exposes free will as an illusion; I say she could have prevented her unhappy ending by pulling her head out of her ass and figuring out her predicament even half as quickly as the audience does. This isn't a movie about free will; this is two hours of watching a dense woman make mistakes you can see coming a mile away. Avoid it.

− March 29, 2007 • more by Scottlog in or create an account to reply

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