DVD Release Date:  May 8, 2007
Theatrical Release Date:  February 2, 2007
Rating:  PG-13 (sexual content, mature thematic material)
Genre:  Romantic Comedy/Drama
Run Time:  102 min.
Director:  Michael Lehmann
Actors:  Diane Keaton, Mandy Moore, Lauren Graham, Piper Perabo, Gabriel Macht, Tom Everett Scott, Stephen Collins

Poor Diane Keaton. Just when I thought it was bad enough that she did a nude scene in 2003’s Something’s Gotta Give with Jack Nicholson and Keanu Reeves, she signs on for a movie that’s far more embarrassing in every way. In fact, it’s so bad that it actually makes me wonder just how horrible the scripts were that she turned down in favor of this one.

In Because I Said So, Keaton plays Daphne, a meddling mother to three pretty daughters: Maggie (an underused Lauren Graham), Mae (a nearly non-existent Piper Perabo) and Milly (a trying-way-too-hard-to-be funny Mandy Moore). Since her life isn’t exactly all she’s hoped it would be after the death of the girls’ father, she lives vicariously through her children and offers advice whether it’s wanted or not.

It’s an interesting, if not relatable, premise for many of the ladies (and their patient dates) who are watching for sure, but unfortunately the writers decided that character development and actual comedy should be sacrificed for constant chatter about sex and humor of the lowest possible caliber. Well, unless your idea of funny is girl talk about male circumcision, Daphne constantly being pelted with cake or two old ladies kissing each other.

Anyway, it’s her youngest daughter Milly’s love life that Daphne’s most concerned about. Like most moms, she just wants her daughter to be happy, after all. But her methods, not to mention her concern for her daughter who’s attractive, independent and hardly a spinster as she appears to be barely out of high school, aren’t even merited.

But the Mother Hen intervenes anyway with the help of a dating Website where she finds Jason (Tom Everett Scott), a successful, good-looking architect, who has “future son-in-law” written all over him in her opinion. But of course as she interviews Jason, there’s another man in the running who doesn’t measure up as sensitive hotel musician Johnny (Gabriel Macht) “spontaneously” enters the picture to give Jason the proverbial run for his money. Of course, what these guys don’t know later on is that they’re both dating Milly, who beds both of them during their respective courtships.

Ultimately, aside from seeing Keaton in such a heartless, forgettable role, that’s the saddest thing of all about “Because I Said So.” Girls who’ve looked up to Mandy Moore after her starring roles in more redemptive films like A Walk to Remember or Chasing Liberty will see a whole different side to Moore, who has claimed to be a church-goer in the past. Instead of sweet and somewhat innocent like the pop songs she’s sung in the past, she’s a spoiled, promiscuous girl with a potty mouth, which is such a waste of her talent that still manages to shine through in such an insignificant movie as this. Just think if she actually had a good script, now that might be something worth watching.

But in the meantime, all we’ve got is Because I Said So, a romantic comedy that’s neither funny or romantic, a shame considering how much potential a cast like this one had.
 
AUDIENCE:  Older teens and up

CAUTIONS:

  • Drugs/Alcohol:  There’s plenty of social drinking throughout the movie.
  • Language/Profanity:  An assortment of expletives throughout, including many instances of God’s name being taken in vain.
  • Sex/Nudity:  For a PG-13 movie, I was surprised by the pervasive sexual content. Basically, when these characters aren’t having sex, they’re talking about it—and graphically so. There’s plenty of crass banter about male and female anatomy, a Meg Ryan-esque depiction of an orgasm a la “When Harry Met Sally” and a played-for-laughs kiss between two elderly women. There’s also some rather racy images when Daphne’s looking for a suitor for Milly. Then when Milly gets a few dates, she also hops into bed with not one, but both of her suitors. Later on, Daphne’s big secret is that she’s never experienced sexual bliss, something she talks about incessantly during the film. Daphne sleeps with Joe by film’s end.
  • Violence:  None that isn’t of the comic variety.