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  America's Sweethearts  
  Joe Roth  
  Billy Crystal, Julia Roberts, John Cusak, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Hank Azaria, Stanley Tucci, and Christopher Walken  
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I didn't really have high expectations going into this movie, but I was looking forward to seeing John Cusak having to juggle Catherine Zeta-Jones and Julia Roberts.

But it surprised me.

I was expecting a "love conquers all" movie centered around John Cusak and Catherine Zeta-Jones (who play A-list actors paired on the screen all the time who are a couple in real life, but whose relationship is on the rocks) and Julia Roberts (playing Catherine Zeta-Jones' sister and lackey, who provides John Cusak with genuine affection if he'd only stop pining for Zeta-Jones for long enough to realize it).

However, for the first twenty minutes I was treated to a "ain't Hollywood a mess" movie centered around Billy Crystal (a movie PR man who got canned in the recent past to be replaced by Seth Green) and Stanley Tucci (the movie company exec who fired Crystal but who now desperately needs him back) as they try to resurrect the mess surrounding the latest movie starring Cusak and Zeta-Jones that's being held hostage by its director (Walken).

Anyway, it goes from the "ain't Hollywood a mess" movie, shifts over to the "love conquers all" movie, and then back to the "ain't Hollywood a mess" movie, and does so rather seamlessly.

In the end, I think it was the blending of the two movies that really carried this one over into positive territory for me. I don't think I could have taken a whole movie around either one or the other theme, but being able to shift kept things moving at a quick enough clip for me to enjoy it.

It's a great date movie, because there are two people who get to fall in love, but it doesn't hit you over the head with it too badly so you're not squirming through the picture. It's a good group movie too, for the Christopher Walken scenes as well Stanley Tucci's character losing his cool at so many opportune moments. Billy Crystal's character suffers from an unfortunate bout of conscience at the end, but it doesn't slow the movie down too bad, so all the slimy goodness isn't wasted.

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