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Loverboy (0/10)

by Tony Medley

Ugh! Another Hollywood vanity project from new poster children for actors who shouldn't produce or direct. From what I can determine, this thing has been in the can for at least a year; probably because they couldnít find anyone to distribute it. Based on a novel by Victoria Redel and adapted for the screen by Hannah Shakespeare, who doesnít come close to living up to her namesake, itís the story of a woman, Emily Stoll (Kyra Sedgwick), who wants a child but doesnít want a man. So she conceives as a result of a chance encounter made ludicrous by the silly dialogue and situation. People can meet and mate in chance encounters; itís unlikely that those chance encounters are as incredible and unrealistic as the one presented here.

Sedgwick became enamored of the book and convinced her husband, Kevin Bacon, to co-produce and direct. In case anyone might think that vanity has nothing to do with this film, consider the fact that Sedgwick stars, Kevin has a supporting role, Kevin directs, both are producers, both of their children, Sosie and Travis, are in the cast, and that Kevinís brother, Michael, wrote the score. They are probably the only people in the world who could like this. It shows not only Emily as a selfishly possessive mother, but her parents, (Bacon and Marisa Tomei) as being drug-addled imbeciles who care not a whit for their daughter, which, I guess, is to explain why their daughter is a madwoman (you know, she's depraved because she was deprived). While a study of a destructive mother who confuses selfishness for love might be a good topic for a motion picture, Sedgwick-Bacon haven't done it here because they have not produced a picture with an ounce of enjoyment in it.

There are a lot of names that appear in what are little more than cameos, people like Matt Dillon, Oliver Platt, Campbell Scott, and Sandra Bullock. All this proves is that actors have very little ability to judge the quality of a script, because none of them add anything to the film. But, then, Sir Laurence Olivier, Cary Grant, Grace Kelly, Clark Gable, and Humphrey Bogart couldnít add anything to this script. If they did it as a favor to Bacon-Sedgwick, then Bacon-Sedgwick have big time debts to each.

Emily's son, Loverboy/Paul (Dominic Scott Kay), is made to be remarkably grown up in the way he reasons and talks. Itís unlikely that a real live six-year old would be as astute. But Kay does give a remarkable performance, considering his age and what he has to work with. In fact, he and Sosie Bacon, who plays Emily as a ten-year old, are the only redeemable features of the movie, outside of Dillon, who seems to always give a good performance, regardless of the quality of the role.

The film ends appropriately, on a down note, with a dismal performance by Spencer Treat Clark, who plays Loverboy/Paul as a sixteen-year old. He mutters his lines so badly that virtually nothing he says is audible. Given the script and the directing, however, maybe it would have been better if everyone had delivered their lines in the style of Clark.

June 7, 2006