Alex and Emma (review)

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Art sometimes feels like a matter of life and death to creative people, but this is ridiculous. If Luke Wilson doesn’t write a novel in 30 days, Cuban mobsters will kill him. So he hires Kate Hudson to be his stenographer — the Cuban mobsters destroyed his laptop — and he will dictate the book to her. Sure, Monty Python could make this funny, with its Wide World of Novel Writing, and you’d think that Rob Reiner would be able to do something with this concept, what with the likes of This Is Spinal Tap under his belt. But this is a harrowing experience, part watching paint dry, part having your eyes poked out with a sharpened pencil. You get not one but two tired, insipid, clichéd love stories: As Alex (Wilson: Old School) writes his Harlequin romance that’s supposedly Fitzgerald, Emma (Hudson: How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days) offers snide commentary and vetoes plot and character developments… and Alex, supposedly a “genius” writer, lets her change his book, because he’s a mere and hence flawed man and she is paragon of supposed charming womanly idiosyncrasies and of course he’s inexplicably attracted to her. As if their lack of Romantic Comedy(TM) chemistry and surfeit of Romantic Comedy(TM) idiocy in the present day weren’t agonizing enough, we get to see them perpetrate almost exactly the same schtick in 1920s getups, acting out Alex’s novel in progress; Hudson even gets to rotate amongst a slew of unintelligible accents as the character Emma has inspired Alex to create morphs from a Swede to a German to Spaniard to an American. Her characters never fail to be perfect, his never fail to be spineless dorks, and the movie never fails to be less than unendurable.

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