[box cover]

Head Over Heels

Head Over Heels' problems start with its title. It might as well have been called Generic Romantic Comedy #47 — it's that bland. But a good movie can overcome the lack of a memorable name. Unfortunately, that's not the case here. Starring Julia Roberts-look-alike Monica Potter (Patch Adams) as Amanda, a romantic gal who's had her impetuous heart broken one too many times, and Freddie Prinze Jr. as Jim, the mysterious fashion executive she falls for, Head Over Heels is one of those movies that will quickly fade into obscurity, always looking vaguely familiar on the video store shelf, but never one you actually consider renting. Not that it's terrible — it's just so thin and light that it kind of floats away after you watch it; it's cotton candy cinema. See, the gimmick is that Amanda, alone and cynical after catching her live-in boyfriend with another woman, rents a room in an apartment occupied by four gorgeous, pampered supermodels — an apartment that gives her a bird's eye view of Jim's pad. Gussied up by her new roomies, Amanda crashes a party at Jim's and ends up (here it comes...) head over heels in love with him. So imagine her dismay when, Rear Window-like, she thinks she sees him bludgeoning a blonde to death with a baseball bat. Determined to either prove he's a murderer or the man of her dreams, Amanda and the gals investigate — and, of course, mayhem ensues. Designed to be a Hitchcock-style thriller played for laughs, Head Over Heels ends up being too far-fetched and convoluted even for the movies. Some of the slapstick is funny, and real-life model Shalom Harlow steals all of her scenes as the high-strung Jade, but with lead actors as dim as Potter and Prinze (who might as well be a smiley face on a stick for all the depth he shows here), it's hard to care if they end up together or not. It's also hard to believe this fluff was directed by the same man who helmed the quirky, dark indie hit The House of Yes, but watching Mark Waters enthuse about Head Over Heels in the disc's "Spotlight on Location" featurette, one gets the feeling he thought he was re-inventing the screwball comedy. Besides the 11-minute featurette, Universal's DVD release offers the trailer, production notes, bios for Waters and the principal cast members, DVD-ROM content (games, screensavers, wallpapers, etc.), and recommendations for other Universal films on DVD. The anamorphic transfer (2.35:1) is as sharp as they come, and the DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 audio tracks are crisp and clear. Keep-case.
—Betsy Bozdech



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