It has been a while since I have enjoyed a movie with Matthew McConaughey. I think it goes back to How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days back in 2003.
Ever since that movie was a huge hit McConaughey has either sleepwalked or turned in passable performances in very average films. He was good in Tropic Thunder and We Are Marshall but the others I started to wonder what happened to him.
He dabbled in adventure films with Sahara and Fool’s Gold but it was always the romantic comedies that kept making money. I had shut the door on McConaughey after I endured Surfer, Dude but this movie was quite a surprise.
First off, why hadnt anyone have thought of this concept before? You take the romantic comedy formula and you adapt it with the back story of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol.
Scrooge has been turned into a vulgar, womanizing playboy who more women parade through his bed than floats in the Thanksgiving Day parade.
McConaughey plays Connor Mead, the adapted Scrooge, who journeys back to his uncle’s giant estate for his kid brother’s (Breckin Meyer) wedding.
He hits on the bridesmaids and the bride’s mother (Anne Archer). His careless attitude turns the wedding weekend into a disaster. Just when you dont think it can get any worse, Connor is visited by the ghost of his playboy uncle (Michael Douglas) and three ghosts.
McConaughey is actually quite good in the role and I think this could be the best movie he has made in years. The script is bang on, the concept is unique and after a long while he feels fresh again. But my favorite part of the movie is Michael Douglas. He is so perfect and a scene-stealer.
You know from the get-go he is channeling Robert Evans and doing a fabulous job, I might add. Actually the only way that casting could have been better is if Robert Evans was playing himself. Other than Douglas I really couldn’t say any of the other supporting players were memorable. Meyer was his stable self, Lacey Chabert, the bride, was always freaking out and well that’s all I remember.
The interesting thing about the concept of the film is that you really don’t need there to be a lot of chemistry between the two leads. There is some between McConaughey and his lost love in the film Jennifer Garner but I wouldn’t say it is electric. I did like Garner in the film but found she was more fun as McConaughey’s antagonist than his foil.
I found the scenes between the ghosts, were quite dull and in some cases threw off the pacing of the film. Not to mention, Chabert screaming every three seconds. The cake thing was funny though. Overall, this movie is surprise and a welcome relief after Surfer, Dude. I am still waiting for McConaughey to finally break the rom-com mold and get back to more serious movies.
4 out of 5
So Says the Soothsayer