All About Steve

All About Steve


Reviewed by: Val Kermode

If you thought The Proposal was bad, you ain't seen nuthin'. This one stars Sandra Bullock as a crazy stalker and it plumbs new depths. Except she's not meant to be crazy, just “different” and there's room in this world for all kinds, right? After 99 minutes of this you'll say "yes" just to escape.

Sandra Bullock plays Mary Horowitz, an obsessive crossword compiler working for a local newspaper. She knows everything about everything and can't stop talking. As a result she bores the pants off everyone she meets and has no life.

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Suddenly things look up when her parents arrange a blind date with Steve (Bradley Cooper). Steve is hot, and why he would be on a blind date in the first place is inexplicable. Mary literally jumps on him and, nice guy that he is, he makes his escape by saying that his job takes him on the road so he can't see her again.

The next day Mary's crossword is all about Steve, i.e. every clue relates to him. When it is published (Where was the editor?) she gets the sack. Then she realises that now she is free to follow Steve.

Steve is a news cameraman for CNN. And Mary proceeds to stalk him across the country as he covers a string of silly news stories. He thinks she's crazy but, as a prank, his co-worker, fading hero reporter Hartman Hughes (Thomas Haden Church), encourages her to stay. Along the way she joins forces with two wacky friends who follow disasters just to be part of the crowd, and much hilarity ensues. (I lied about that last bit.)

Someone must have thought this would be hilarious. Try this as a sample. Mary, spirited little cookie that she is, always wears long red boots. Why? “I wear them because they make my toes feel like ten friends on a camping trip.” What? Be warned, it goes on like this all the way to the schmaltzy voice-over ending.

The very worst thing about this film is its message. “Look...” someone says at one point, and the camera pans over a sea of wannabees holding candles and banners for Mary. So if a crowd of the saddest, dumbest people assemble to tell you that you're remarkable, it must be true.

Here's another of Mary's little gems… “Life is like a crossword puzzle. You can't leave it unfinished.” Better leave this one unstarted.

Reviewed on: 14 Jan 2010
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A crossword puzzler follows the cameraman she's smitten with all around the country.
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Director: Phil Traill

Writer: Kim Barker

Starring: Sandra Bullock, Thomas Haden Church, Bradley Cooper, Ken Jeong

Year: 2009

Runtime: 99 minutes

BBFC: 12A - Adult Supervision

Country: US


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