Avoided this when it first came out, despite the huge draw of featuring the superb Kevin Kline, because from all I saw of the reviews, it was just rudey pudey nonsense masquerading as a film. I was driven to download it by someone on another website mourning Mr Kline's "looking so old" - apparently unrecognisably so!
Well, I was largely right about the rudey pudey stuff, although, to be honest, I did expect rather better performances from the two leads - most particularly Kutcher, who totally lacked sex-appeal (okay, I'm nearer Mr Kline's age, but read on!) and frankly sleep-walked through most of it. Can his face move? Can he register emotion? Can he do anything except go where he's told and say the lines he's given? I saw no sign of it. Oh, yes, and I thought sex was, at the very least, meant to be fun; not much fun here, just rutting because - well, because ...?
Okay, as I said, I too must be "so old", but I see no value and very little comedy in smut for smut's sake. This film reminded me of small children shouting "Poo!" or "Bum" just to annoy their parents. It certainly annoyed me - well, for a bit, then it got tiresome - as any parent will understand. And the small army of minor characters just confused and cluttered a very thin plot.
So, my 60% rating, carefully chosen to just take it out of the rotten category, is entirely for Mr Kline's contribution - although he surely can't need the money, so not sure why he bothered with this tat. Admittedly, Mr Kline, despite his huge talent, has not always chosen his material very well. Or maybe it was a favour to Ivan Reitman, who has also done so much better. A big favour, if so.
But - and here's the point - Kevin Kline DOES bother. His washed-up, egotistical, drug-taking, bimbo-laying ex-star is an appalling person, and a fabulous, if cameo, performance - including the toe-curling birthday song for Kuchner about making his "Papppy Happy" - which, apparently, Mr Kline wrote and composed, as well as performed! Fabulous! About the only other decent line is at the end, when Adam tells Dad he's an asshole and "Dad" Kevin replies "But you're not." He was the only reason I kept watching. And as for looking "so old" - okay, he's not 30 any more, but he was nevertheless the sexiest thing on the screen - and still strips off quite nicely too! Yes, I'm about his age, but, whatever age, given the choice - Adam or Alvin? - Kutcher or Kline? - no contest! He was the only fresh tomato in this basket of rotten ones.
I hate to chuck green tomatoes at the great Kevin Kline, but someone should have told HIM to chuck this script in the bin. A nasty, lascivious film that focuses almost lovingly on the horrors it purports to condemn. Add to that a totally unbelievable plot,thin characterisation, and an unresolved ending - why does Kline's Ray give up his own search, when he has no way of knowing it is now futile? - this is totally unworthy of him. Moreover, his character has little to do and he does little with it. A tragic waste of Mr Kline's time and huge talent - he is SO SO SO much better than this!
Searingly, at times almost unbearably, poignant and beautiful, the sort of film that - painfully - expands the soul. To critique it is as impossible as understanding the beauty of flight by cutting off a bird's wing. It is harrowing, haunting, and perfect.