5.7/10
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America's Sweethearts (2001)

Trailer
2:25 | Trailer
A movie publicist deals with the messy public split of his movie's co-stars while keeping reporters at bay while a reclusive director holds the film's print hostage.

Director:

Joe Roth
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Julia Roberts ... Kiki Harrison
Billy Crystal ... Lee Phillips
Catherine Zeta-Jones ... Gwen Harrison
John Cusack ... Eddie Thomas
Hank Azaria ... Hector
Stanley Tucci ... Dave Kingman
Christopher Walken ... Hal Weidmann
Alan Arkin ... Wellness Guide
Seth Green ... Danny Wax
Scot Zeller ... Davis
Larry King ... Himself
Steve Pink ... Limo Driver
Rainn Wilson ... Dave O'Hanlon
Eric Balfour ... Security Guard
Marty Belafsky ... Security Guard
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Storyline

In the midst of a nasty public breakup of married movie stars, a studio publicist scrambles to put a cap on the escalating situation as the couple's latest film has found its only print kidnapped by the director. Written by MonkeyKingMA

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

America's hottest couple has just broken up...it will take more than special effects to get them back together. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

AL | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 October 2001 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

La pareja del año See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$46,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$30,181,877, 22 July 2001, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$93,607,673, 28 October 2001

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$138,191,428
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jennifer Aniston were considered for the role of Kathleen "Kiki" Harrison. See more »

Goofs

When Kiki is having breakfast with Eddie, the butter on her toast, and the size of the slice, make dramatic changes between shots. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: America first fell in love with Eddie Thomas and Gwen Harrison in the box office smash "Autumn With Greg And Peg". They had the most celebrated marriage in Hollywood. Who could forget how they hit one out of the park in "Requiem for an Outfielder"?
See more »

Alternate Versions

DVD deleted scenes are:
  • Extended scene of Hector in the bathtub; a girl had been fellating him under the bubbles
  • Eddie calls the wellness guide, who's tooling around the Las Vegas Strip in a classic Cadillac convertible, about whether or not to meet Gwen for dinner
  • After Eddie and Kiki wake up, Leaf shows up to rekindle the vengeance affair Eddie had with her on the set and comments on Kiki's weight loss
  • Hal bickers about the lack of honesty in Hollywood to a Spanish-speaking tow truck driver in the desert after his car broke down
  • Danny tries unsuccessfully to schmooze Hal in the auditorium after the film
See more »

Connections

Features Larry King Live (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

You Do Something to Me
Written by Cole Porter
Performed by Hank Azaria
See more »

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User Reviews

very poor romantic comedy
11 November 2001 | by Buddy-51See all my reviews

The question before us is this: how does one take an all star cast – a veritable who's who of today's top screen personalities, including Julia Roberts, Billy Crystal, Catherine Zeta-Jones, John Cusack, Hank Azaria, Stanley Tucci, Christopher Walken and Alan Arkin - and produce a film as thoroughly inept and wretched as `America's Sweethearts'? I'm not sure I have the answer to the question, but I am certainly willing to take a crack at formulating some possible explanations.

Perhaps the fault lies in the thoroughly insipid and inane storyline, which might actually have provided the pretext for some pretty sharp satire – if only the filmmakers had known what they were doing. In this fictional Hollywood, Gwen Harrison (Zeta-Jones) and Eddie Thomas (Cusack) have been America's favorite couple both on screen and off for a number of years. Their movies are almost guaranteed to be sure-fire box office bonanzas – until now that is. Just recently, Gwen has moved in with a Latin actor named Hector, bringing to an end not only the famous marriage but also the lucrative career of the once-happy couple. Eddie has spent the last year at a Zen-type meditation retreat, trying to come to terms with all that has happened. Meanwhile, the studio is worried about how to promote the soon-to-be-released final film to feature the defunct couple, the solution being to get publicist Lee Phillips (Crystal) to gather everyone involved in the making of the movie together for a press junket at an out-of-the-way hotel in Nevada with the express purpose of convincing the public that there is some chance that the estranged divorcees might be contemplating a reconciliation.

As I stated earlier, the plot could provide some juicy fodder for satirizing the workings of the movie industry, but writers Billy Crystal and Peter Tolan have failed to provide even a modicum of wit for the occasion. It's awfully hard to identify with or be charmed by characters who are either self-centered and whiny (Gwen) or wimpy and whiny (Eddie). We really don't like either of these people and, frankly, when we see them together, we don't believe for a second that the movie going public would be as enamored of them as the people in the movie we are watching keep telling us they are. We also don't swallow the fact that Gwen's sister, Kiki (Roberts), would put up with her spoiled sister's tyrannical manipulations for two seconds let alone her whole lifetime. When Eddie and Kiki finally wake up to the truth about Gwen and begin to discover the romantic attraction that exists between them, we feel like we are already five narrative miles ahead of them – a position one doesn't want to be in when the need for audience identification with the characters is as crucial as it is in a film like this one.

Most of the attempts at humor in the film are obvious and crude, whether they involve Hector's insultingly contrived Spanish accent, a scene of a dog nuzzling Phillips' crotch, or a juvenile masturbation gag involving Eddie lurking outside Gwen's hotel room. Even the film-within-a-film, when it is finally unveiled to us, is a total letdown. Although Walken brings a cleverness and energy to his overwritten role of the film's eccentric-genius director, the movie that he finally unspools for the curious press and studio onlookers involves humor of only the most obvious kind. That leads to a final confrontation scene - in which the characters act out their little real life drama for the benefit of the dumbfounded and aghast audience - that is utterly idiotic, inane and unbelievable. Crystal's performance as the nervous-Nelly publicist involves little more than nonstop dithering in the form of cynical quips and wisecracks. It is grating and annoying from start to finish. Only Julia Roberts manages to register as a likable person now and then – but even she can do only so much in a role as shallow in its conception as this one is.

To say that `America's Sweethearts' is one of the worst romantic comedies of the past several years would be to belittle it. Considering the pedigree of so many of the people involved in its making and the expectations that inevitably go along with that pedigree, `America's Sweethearts' is one of the worst romantic comedies of any number of years.


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