When will someone realize that sexy Sarah Jessica Parker is pure comic gold and start writing movies that give her a chance to glisten? She’s the only spice in this too-sweet romantic comedy, which stars Jeanne Tripplehorn as Gwen Moss, a writer who doesn’t find Mr. Right, architect Nick Dawkan (the engaging Dylan McDermott), until the happy ending.
It’s lucky that screenwriter Winnie Holzman, who worked magically with debuting feature director Scott Winarit on TV’s My So-Called Life and thirty-something, can craft tart lines. It’s also lucky that this cast, including Jennifer Aniston of Friends in a sharp cameo, knows how to zing them. Parker really delivers the goods as Francesca Lans-field, a former child star better known now for her rehab sessions. When people stare, Francesca snaps: “Yes, it’s me. No, I’m not dead!” How does Francesca connect to the plot? One, she hires Gwen to ghostwrite her autobiography. Two, she takes Nick to bed just after hiring him to tear down a landmark Hollywood courtyard building that she owns and to erect a modern monstrosity in its place. Conflict? Gwen has just moved into that romantic old building and has come to love the residents, especially an old lady who’s been there since before movies talked. It’s only when Nick also comes to love the old building and the old lady that he’s worthy enough to meet and marry Gwen. What did I tell you about too sweet?