Saturday, May 10, 2008

Over Her Dead Body - DVD Review

OVER HER DEAD BODY (*) - Starring Eva Longoria Parker, Paul Rudd, Lake Bell, Jason Biggs, Lindsay Sloane and Stephen Root.
Written & directed by Jeff Lowell.

I don't get what the goal was here. Is Eva Longoria the star? Then why is she such an unlikeable character from beginning to end? I don't know if I can blame her performance. If she's supposed to be a b-word, she delivers. A charmless, charmless b-word.

She plays Kate, a bridezilla who dies on her wedding day. She was supposed to marry Henry (Paul Rudd). A year later, Henry is still bummed, but Kate is so shrewish I can't for the life of me figure out why he wanted to marry her and why he's not over her after a year. His sister takes her to a psychic named Ashley (Boston Legal's Lake Bell) who doubles as a caterer. Ashley starts to fall for Henry, which makes Kate jealous.

One problem I had: why is there no curiosity about the afterlife? Kate has no questions or curiosity at all about what happens to her soul from here. She meets an angel ready to give her info, and Kate has a hissy-fit about her not having wings. Did Kate believe in God before she died? Reincarnation? Existence after death at all?

None of the characters seem to care. Everyone falls in lockstep with the rom-com cliche parade. Henry and Ashley date, Kate's jealous, Kate tortures Ashley, as Ashley is the only one who can see her. How does she do this? By making it sound like Henry is farting when he's not. She has all sorts of powers, but this is the extent of her wit. Another embarrassing aspect of this movie is it occasionally remembers it's a comedy and has its characters do pratfalls and behave in madcap fashion at off-putting times.

Even Paul Rudd, who's earned brotherhood in the Ferrell-Stiller laugh-pack, as well as the Apatow stable, seems almost ashamed to be here, and does his best to earn actual laughs with his line delivery. Alas, even he falls short. The worst movie so far of 2008.

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