Just My Luck
R E V I E W   B Y   R I C H   C L I N E dir Donald Petrie
scr I Marlene King, Amy Harris
with Lindsay Lohan, Chris Pine, Samaire Armstrong, Bree Turner, Faizon Love, Missi Pyle, Makenzie Vega, Carlos Ponce, Tom Fletcher, Danny Jones, Harry Judd, Dougie Poynter
release US 12.May.06,
UK 30.Jun.06
06/US Fox 1h43

Dumb luck: Lohan and Pine

armstrong love pyle mcfly

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Just My Luck Yet another trite, gimmicky rom-com--there's nothing remotely original or inviting about this film beyond its lively cast and a slick Hollywood sheen that creates the illusion of quality.

Ashley (Lohan) is the luckiest girl in Manhattan, with two loyal pals (Armstrong and Turner) and a marketing job in which she effortlessly impresses her crazed boss (Pyle). Meanwhile, Jake (Pine) is her polar opposite--painfully doomed to clumsiness and embarrassment as he struggles to promote his pals' band McFly (Fletcher, Jones, Judd and Poynter) to a record exec (Love). Then their paths cross, and their luck changes. Can Ashley learn Important Life Lessons? Will Jake still be a nice guy after tasting success? Will they fall deliriously in love?

Have you never seen one of these movies? The most amazing thing here is that so many talented people jumped on board. Didn't they read the script first? Didn't they notice all the plot cliches, complete with climactic concert then race-to-the-station finale? At least they wrestle some charm out of it; Petrie keeps things cheerful, adding silly slapstick and corny glamour that are rather disarming. And the cast all have their moments.

Lohan is fine in her first adult role, although it's not terribly demanding. The physical comedy is neither inventive nor funny, but at least she dives in completely. Pine is amiable and cute and generates some chemistry with her. Pyle and Love get the best moments (which isn't saying much) in the scene-stealing roles. But poor McFly get very little to do, and it's hard to accept them as a no-name band when their audition track was a No 1 hit.

The main problem here is that to the scriptwriters "luck" seems to be synonymous with "stylish" or "well-groomed" or "smart". When Ashley and Jake are in an unlucky phase, their clothing suddenly becomes mismatched and ill-fitting, they develop two left feet, annoying personalities and an inability to express a coherent thought. This kind of stupidity is actually insulting to audiences. Do studios really think we'll buy tickets to this rubbish? Oh right. Never mind.

cert PG themes, vulgarity, language 13.Jun.06

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2006 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall