Alex and Emma

Luke Wilson plays Alex, an author in debt to the Cuban mob for $100,000. He has thirty days to pay it off, which he can do by finishing his novel, but the goons have destroyed his laptop. So he hires Emma (Kate Hudson) to take dictation. She interrupts and drives him nuts. They fall in love.

Would you believe stuff like this actually happened nearly 150 years ago to the Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky (Crime and Punishment)? Director Rob Reiner, who co-wrote the script with Adam Scheinman, thinks this material is ripe for a contemporary spin. Not really. It's a static film that searches vainly for a consistent tone as the two act out scenes from Alex's book. Reiner gets lucky with his two stars. Wilson has charm to spare, and Hudson brings humor and sexiness to playing Emma and four au pair girls from different countries. But even they can't float a balloon with lead in it.

From The Archives Issue 273: September 7, 1978
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