What REALLY goes on in a job interview? Find out in the new revision of "Sweaty Palms: The Neglected Art of Being Interviewed" (Warner Books) by Tony Medley, updated for the world of the Internet . Over 500,000 copies in print and the only book on the job interview written by an experienced interviewer, one who has conducted thousands of interviews. This is the truth, not the ivory tower speculations of those who write but have no actual experience. "One of the top five books every job seeker should read," says Hotjobs.com.

Must Love Dogs (3/10)

by Tony Medley

Maybe beauty has no relationship with perspicacity. How else explain Diane Lane agreeing to do this movie. Didn’t she read the script? For that matter, didn’t Christopher Plummer and John Cusack read the script? Because if they had, they would have discovered that the first 75 minutes are sophomoric, foolish, unrealistic, unfunny, and contrived, if not puerile, ignorant, and ill-informed.

For my money Lane is the most beautiful film actress since Gene Tierney. I thought, how bad could it be to sit at look at Lane for almost two hours? Well, with this script, it wasn’t as terrific as it sounded. Lane has been in some stinkers before, like “Under the Tuscan Sun” (2003), but she was at the top of her game in “Unfaithful” (2002). I don’t know if she’s a good actress or not. If you look at her filmography, she hasn’t worked with “A” material very often. Certainly mouthing the lines given her here by screenwriter-director-producer Gary David Goldberg, she’s doesn’t look much like Ethel Barrymore (thinking about that, maybe that’s all to the good). But nobody could make these lines entertaining.

I don’t know what Goldberg’s personal situation is, but it’s hard to believe he’s been single recently, his “first dates” are so far from reality. The dialogue and situations he invents are excruciating.

Explaining Plummer is even more difficult. One of the great Shakespearean actors of his generation (he’s the best Hamlet I’ve seen), Plummer has been a delight in films since “The Sound of Music” (1965). Maybe he needed the work.

The story is simple. Sarah Nolan (Lane) is recently divorced and everyone is trying to fix her up. She meets two guys, Jake Anderson (Cusack) and Bob Connor (Dermot Mulroney). It’s awkward with each. Which will it be (since Cusack is the co-star, guess which?). Connor’s character is so predictable that Goldberg must have pulled it out of an old “how to write a screenplay” primer.

Worse, Sarah’s first date with Anderson ends up with both so horny they can’t wait to jump into the sack. And the horniness continues for a long, long time as they drive all over the city trying to find a condom. Has Goldberg ever been on a date? Not only is this is one of the more ridiculous scenes ever filmed, it’s inconsistent with Sarah’s character.

Speaking of mixed-up characters, we’re supposed to like Jake, but after his first date with Sarah he’s telling his buddy about her and gloating about the fact that she’s vulnerable and he should be able to take advantage of that. That’s admirable?  Goldberg couldn't decide whether to make his characters' nature consistent or go for the cheap joke, so he chose the latter, to the detriment of the integrity of the film.

The scenes and conversations between and among Sarah and her sisters are more of those scenes where the dialogue is meant to be sharp and witty, but is instead insipid and contrived. In fact, the relationships and dialogue between Sarah, on the one hand, and her father, brothers and sisters are nothing more than labored, ineffectual attempts at wit. Ugh!

This horror goes on for 75 long minutes. But then, when Sarah tells Bob what she really thinks about him, suddenly the film picks up. Even though the ending is hopelessly ludicrous, the last 20 minutes at least got my brain working a little. Unfortunately, it was too little too late.

July 30, 2005