So its come to this.
Gael Garcia Bernal is at something of a crossroads. A Little Bit Of Heaven is his second desperately poor-looking rom-com, and it seems Hollywood wants him for his looks and not his talent. Bernal is one of the most interesting and adept actors currently working, and his astounding performances in The Motorcycle Diaries, Bad Education and Amores Perros would speak to that. He's even given more then one great English language performance, from his hyper-active villain in Blindness, to his subtle, perfectly accented work in The King, which I'd cite as one of the overlooked great performances of the last decade. And yet, America seems to be only interested in casting him as romantic foil in its ever-productive rom-com conveyor belt. He's not even the lead in these things, rather just functioning as the 'eye candy'.
And yes feminists, I understand that this happens to actresses all the time, and that it is in fact not on. Actresses of boundless talent forced to play girlfriend after girlfriend, but it happens to the boys so much less often it feels much more of an affront somehow, even though it is actually much less of one. Anyways, Bernal looks utterly lost here, game but clueless and its a very sad sight to see. He gets blown of the screen by Kate Hudson, for christs sake. Hudson is probably the main saving grace of this weepy disguised as a romantic comedy. It suckers you in for the first 40 minutes, and then becomes yet another cancer movie rather then just yet another romanic comedy. The cast features some interesting and talented people, from the ridiculously under-rated Romany Malco to the great Peter Dinklage, who lends the cheapest of jokes some thoroughly undeserved pathos and weight. High in the running for best performance in a terrible role of all time. There's also Rosemary DeWitt and Kathy Bates, and even Lost's Alan Dale shows up. But despite all this talent, pretty much everybody is wasted and with the exception of Dinklage disappear into the worn material.
I didn't hate A Little Bit Of Heaven the way I hated Leap Year say, it had a bit more about it then that, but its still far too rote to make anything resembling a lasting impact. But if this and her stunning performance in The Killer Inside Me are anything to go by, I think I'm being won over to team Kate Hudson, albeit with great, great reservation. The most appeasing thing I can say is if you like your Steel Magnolias and your 27 Dresses, maybe you'll like this but if we're being honest with each other, its kind of crappy