As anyone who has ever been in a lengthy relationship knows, every couple has a “His” section and a “Her” section (or, “His” and “His,” “Hers” and “Hers,” or some other variation thereof) for select items. Toiletries, vehicles, tastes in food — and, of course, films. Case in point: All About Steve, another in a long line of romantic comedies starring Sandra Bullock. It’s definitely the kind of film that is considered a “Hers” selection within the confines of our home, and it’s also an excellent example of what a “chick flick” really is. And, after watching it with my fiancée, I am proud to say that I still love her anyway.
At first glance, it didn’t look like All About Steve was going to amount to much. Sure enough, I was right. The story — an awkward nerdy woman (Bullock) falls in love with a handsome guy (Bradley Cooper) and drives him crazy until he finally realizes what a great gal she really is — is really nothing new. Nor is it terribly interesting. A pity, really, since I’m sure a lot of people were hoping for a lot more…especially from the film’s male romantic interest, Bradley Cooper — who was part of the wonderful ensemble that wowed audiences in The Hangover a few months prior to All About Steve’s theatrical release.
Back to the story. Mary, the aforementioned awkward nerdy woman, works as a crossword puzzle designer for the Sacramento Herald. After a disastrous blind date with Steve (Cooper), the cameraman for cable news network CCN, Mary designs a confusing crossword based entirely on Steve — to which she is fired. Seeing her newfound unemployment as a gift from fate, Mary decides to set out cross-country and stalk the living bejesus out of Steve, who is teased by his coworkers — CCN newscaster Hartman Hughes (Thomas Haden Church, who receives second billing) and their producer, Angus (Ken Jeong — another familiar face from The Hangover, whose presence gives us all some false hope that there will be at least some comedic chemistry at play here) — about the crazy lady. Meanwhile, Mary gets herself into all sorts of Sandra Bullock romantic comedy routines along the way.
I’m all in favor of being green and recycling and whatnot — but I fail to see how reusing the same tired script over and over again is going to save the planet and/or be of an enormous asset to future generations. You hear me, Sandra Bullock?
Also appearing in this Sandra Bullock retread are DJ Qualls and Katy Mixon, with Keith David, M.C. Gainey, Beth Grant, and Howard Hesseman turning in a few more of their usual minor supporting-character performances. While the film had an almost “tailored especially for Sandra Bullock” feel to it, it’s been said that All About Steve even managed to disappoint some of the more ardent Bullock fans (you know who you are). Such is easy to see, too: the film boasts a very bland script which is filled with stale humor, and its representation of “charm” (a crazy woman stalks a guy across the United States) is a bit disturbing to say the least.
Fox Home Entertainment brings us All About Steve on Blu-ray in a 1080p/AVC transfer and a 1.85:1 widescreen presentation. The High Def disc boasts some solid contrast and colors for the most part (you have to, especially when one of the film’s focus points are a pair of gaudy red boots — which come through just fine here), but there’s really nothing to brag about here in terms of video. Audio-wise, it’s the same boat: the disc carries an English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless soundtrack that does very little for the source material for the most part. A tornado sequence in the middle of the film succeeds in waking everyone up and giving your stereo setup a bit of a workout, while only a few other background sounds come into play. For the most part, it’s a decent mix. Also on hand are two Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtracks in French and Spanish, and subtitles in English (SDH), French, and Spanish.
Like the movie itself, All About Steve’s special features provide more groans than laughs. Selections include a cast/crew audio commentary with writer Kim Barker (shame!), director Phil Traill, and actors Bullock, Church, Cooper and Jeong. The same six people also provide optional commentaries for the next three bonus items: nine deleted/alternate scenes, gag reel, and Cooper/Jeong’s improve singing duet (which, despite it being brief, grows old fast). Three behind-the-scenes featurettes include a mini-mocumentary (“Hollywood Dish With Mena Micheletti”), a mini-documentary (“All About All About Steve”), and the aptly named “Crew Snapshots To Mary’s Rap” — which consists of some behind-the-scenes snaps, set to a rap about the film’s protagonist.
As to why they just didn’t call it There’s Something About Steve is beyond me. As to why they even bothered making the film makes me want to cry.
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