Love Stinks pleasantly surprises audiences with charming story

3 hatchets out of five

In today’s society, films flourish or fail based on expectations. Due to the ever increasing market for Hollywood gossip, it appears that more and more magazines and Internet sites are devoted to revealing the ins and outs of a movie. With this new flood of information, it’s only natural that the American attention span has decreased. With so many options, movie-goers make snap judgments based on flimsy bits of information.

It’s safe to say that most people were quick to judge Love Stinks, directed by Jeff Franklin.. Starring French Stewart (“3rd Rock From The Sun”), Bill Bellamy (Love Jones), and Tyra Banks, making her professional acting debut, Love Stinks doesn’t stand out as a blockbuster.

Although most movie-goers undoubtedly had low expectations for the flick, Love Stinks pleasantly surprises audiences with its charm. The script, although not without its faults, presents entertaining banter between Seth (Stewart) and Chelsea, (Bridgette Wilson, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer). Excellent one-liners are sprinkled throughout the movie to keep your interest piqued. Even Stewart, with his irritating voice, appeals to the audience with his humorous quips.

As for Bellamy as Larry, he plays the straight man to Seth, and he does quite a good job. Banks also deserves credit for her performance as Holly, Larry’s wife. Holly and Larry act as the model couple Chelsea and Seth imitate. The writers played it safe, giving neither Bellamy nor Banks much screen time or difficult comedic bits.

The plot centers around Chelsea’s attempts to woo Seth into pledging his unrelenting love to her through the sacrament of marriage. She will settle for nothing less than wedded bliss. Seth’s attempts to satiate her need for commitment through co-habitation and material gifts do nothing to diminish her desire to be his wife. When he has the gall to refuse her, approximately halfway through the movie, the rest of the film focuses on their attempts to get revenge on each other.

There is also an interesting side plot concerning Seth and Larry’s professional lives as television screenwriters. The trials and tribulations of their real lives are revealed in funny and unpredictable ways in the plots of their shows. As an added bonus, Jason Bateman (“Hogan Family”) and Tiffani-Amber Thiessen (“Beverly Hills 90210”) portray the main characters of Seth and Larry’s show.

Overall, the movie has more hits than strikes when it comes to making you laugh. It plays on the common stereotypes of male/female relations and derives its humor from the fact that audience members have definitely been in similar situations. In the end, Love Stinks will exceed most movie-goers’ expectations.

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