Eye For Film >> Movies >> He Said, She Said (1991) Film Review
Dan Hanson (Kevin Bacon) and Lorie Bryer (Elizabeth Perkins) are rival journalists in a Baltimore newsroom, whose lives are thrown together when their editors put them on the same column. Their opposing views continue after being given their own television show, while offscreen they fall in love. However, the constant friction, which makes the show a ratings hit, causes their romance to sour. Will either of them manage to see the other viewpoint and save their relationship?
What makes this slightly cheesy, definitely schmaltzy little comedy different from the rest is its concept: two characters, two directors, two sides of the same story.
First we see events unfold from his viewpoint, then from hers. The story itself is balanced around a number of key incidents which are subtly different in each retelling. These range from meeting "female acquaintances" to the mug-throwing incident which kicks off every segment.
The separate parts are helmed by a different director, with Ken Kwapis (He Said) and Marisa Silver (She Said) using camera angles and little details to change the audience's perception of the characters. In the first half, told from Hanson's viewpoint, the cinemascope ratio is used to its full extent, with Hanson and Bryer at the far edges of the screen, emphasising the obstacles between them. Later, Silver gets Perkins to act out the same lines in a more frenetic, less composed manner, which brings out Lorie's vulnerability.
The film predates Smoking/No Smoking and Sliding Doors, yet achieves the split perspective effect much better. It's a shame, given the great lengths the directors go to making this conceit work, that the storyline is a little bland.
Supporting characters such as Sharon Stone and Anthony LaPaglia help, but, again, the most interesting thing about them is their differing profiles in each segment. Both Perkins and Bacon make a reasonable couple, but there isn't so much spark as mild warmth.
Nevertheless, He Said, She Said is an entertaining slice of romantic comedy which uses subtlety to achieve its laughs.Reviewed on: 02 Aug 2002