|Five Stars: Click Image to Watch!|
Hillary Duff, Chris Carmack, Michael McMillian,
Matt Dallas, Jaime Pressly, Amanda Walsh
Directed by: Gil Junger
Length: 1h 26m
This movie is right up my alley, with a heroine that loves writing AND romance. In the opening scenes, Lane Daniels (played by Hillary Duff) is walking through the city, regretfully mindful of the abundance of cute guys that are NOT for her. But she's making the best of life by keeping her focus on her career, trusting that the rest will come - just like me. (Except, of course, that she's a totally gorgeous fashion writer, and I'm so not a fashionista.) Maybe my favorite part of this movie - and Lane's biggest obstacle to romance - is her checklist of requirements for her "magic man."
Now it's no secret that over the years, I've come to see relationships as a sort of business-type arrangement, where in order to achieve a truly successful partnership, each party must be clear about their requirements and expectations - and each party must be qualified (or willing to become qualified) to meet the outlined expectations. It's unromantic I know, especially for a romance author, but oh, the logic! It appeals to me on such a deep level. I guess if I had a checklist (and who says I don't?), then it might have something on it about understanding and appreciating the way this logic could, theoretically, help to ensure romantic success.
But getting back to the movie ...
Lane's writing career in the fashion industry isn't doing any better than her love life, but a chance conversation with a Cosmo editor sets her on an entirely new path - one that requires her to enter the business world with her checklist firmly in hand. This could be the perfect break for Lane, both in her writing career and in her romantic life, and it doesn't take her long to score a great undercover business job.
There's just one problem: she knows exactly NOTHING about business.
Thankfully, one thing she DOES know is how to fit in, and it doesn't take long at all for Lane to make friends at this new job - or to start scoring dates - which is perfect since her assignment is to find the perfect man, at work. But for Lane, the best date - and the biggest score - comes from the most unexpected place.
For me, this is the best kind of movie; it's upbeat and romantic with just enough emotional pull to keep me invested in the characters. I didn't care that in some places it required me to toss aside my inner cynical realist, and I loved that the movie had several great feel-good moments, such as when Lane gave Tom the final push to take some initiative at work. The underlying message, both in Lane's assignment and in that moment with Tom's green initiative, was an encouraging one that reminded me of exactly why I'm putting so much into my career as a writer - because it's all I want, and it's my passion, and it never feels anything less than right.
I took some notes over the course of the movie, too, and Lane's checklist has some great items on it, including:
1. Puts Passion Above Common Sense
2. Sexy Accent
4. Fashion Sense
6. Same Taste In Food
7. Travels To Exotic Locations On A Whim
8. Plays Sexy Musical Instrument.
9. Witty Statements On The Tip Of His Tongue
10. Public Fights And Torrid Make-up Sex
You can see that somewhere along the line I missed number five - but honestly, I'm okay with that because the rest of Lane's list is a great deal different from my own. I'll admit, we do have some points in common though, such as number nine. I loved number two as well, as I'm a sucker for almost any foreign accent - and you can't go wrong with number eight either. But the rest? Truthfully, I could do without number ten especially, and I could live quite happily without number one, as well. I've had my share of passionate men, especially ones who put "living in the moment" above common sense - and to be honest, that just doesn't work for me. Maybe it's just the fact that I've had a tumultuous life, but I found this list pretty lacking in qualities I really want in a man, like "integrity" and "dependability."
Still, for all its lack of depth on the surface, this movie ended with a great message about finding exactly what you want right when you least expect it - and sometimes when you didn't even know you wanted it yet. With that being said, Beauty & The Briefcase definitely hits a sweet spot in my romance-loving heart - 86 minutes well spent.
Hidden Delights From This Movie:
1. Lane's checklist (and this movie plot in general) assures me of the normalcy of my own.
2. The hot-guy adaptation of "Go Fish" Lane plays with her friends.
3. The public fight with Liam - what a good sport!
4. Shopping with Tom. That spin! That dance move!
5. The bust in the restaurant - and the double-drink toss.
6. That face "he" wore the last time Lane left the office.
7. "I love you too." Need I say more? Swoon.
Like I said, 86 minutes well spent. Because I'm a romantic at heart - and I like it that way. So ...
Questions for the Comments Section:
- Have you seen this movie?
- If you have, what were some of your hidden delights?
- If you haven't seen it, do you plan to?