Because I Said So

Because I Said So


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Guys, forget it! Stay away from this movie. The mother from hell, in the form of Diane Keaton, who once could do no wrong, will drive you nuts.

She plays Daphne Wilder, whose only reason for living, it seems, is baking cakes and making sure her daughters marry well. The girls are more grounded and placate her with phone calls, a couple of marriages and plans for her 60th birthday – another cake! – except for the youngest, Milly (Mandy Moore), who can’t find a bloke, or can, but can’t keep him - or something. She runs her own catering business, Good Enuf To Eat – more cakes! – and mom is so worried about her that she advertises for a boyfriend and then interviews the applicants personally.

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Naturally, they are all dogs, until… Jason (Tom Everett Scott), a successful architect, tall, handsome, polite and all those things mothers pray for – a prestigious job, a posh family from Connecticut and M.O.N.E.Y. Daphne manipulates a meeting with Milly, who doesn’t know about the ad, and it’s go go go, except there are telltale signs of trouboli ahead, such as his minimalist apartment, which is as welcoming as a mortician’s handshake, and his tendency to control her, or, at least, want to.

Meanwhile, there is a guitar player, called Johnny (Gabriel Macht), who starts dating Milly at the same time. He should be interesting and alternative and have radical views. He doesn’t. He’s good looking in an Identikit kind of way and is a signed up member of the Nice Party. Daphne thinks he’s the pits – actually, she thinks he’s charming – because he’s a musician and obviously a philanderer and, anyway, interfering with Milly’s romance with the perfect Jason, who turns out to be as dull as mince. Johnny’s equally boring, has a horrible son (Ty Panitz) who is rude and out of control – they call this cute in rom-coms – and wears awful clothes.

Although the film is a vehicle for Keaton, so she can do that kooky thing she does over and over again, it is Moore who saves it from the pants drawer. She has a genuine personality and isn’t a glamour puss and you can imagine her doing normal things, like leaving her shopping in a taxi and not crying about it.

The fellas are stereotypical no-nos, as appetizing as milk toast. Milly’s sisters (Lauren Graham and Piper Perabo) are warm, rather than hot, but never get to play. Daphne can’t leave it alone. She’s on Milly’s case ALL the time, phoning her, advising her, criticizing her, loving her, worrying about her, baking cakes for her, buying dresses for her, arranging men for her.

That’s the movie.

It makes you wonder, is this what happened to Annie Hall?

Reviewed on: 16 Feb 2007
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Because I Said So packshot
Cake baking mom-from-hell attempts to control her youngest daughter's love life.
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Director: Michael Lehmann

Writer: Karen Leigh Hopkins, Jessie Nelson

Starring: Diane Keaton, Mandy Moore, Gabriel Macht, Tom Everett Scott, Lauren Graham, Piper Perabo, Stephen Collins, Ty Panitz, Matt Champagne, Colin Ferguson, Tony Hale

Year: 2007

Runtime: 102 minutes

BBFC: 12A - Adult Supervision

Country: US


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