Fools Rush In
Review by Diana and Hands
Director: Andy Tennant
Rating: Squint (has shields, 181st likes 'em)
There are some movies that are bad in their predictability, but good because somehow the story has classic themes and the actors are good in them. In the case of Fools Rush In, Selma Hayek and Matthew Perry are actually charming too, which is a good thing because the plot is kind of dumb and the story is rather friable and crumbly.
The situation is rather contrived: she's a girl names Isabelle Fuentes from Central Mexico with a big, loving family (6 brothers, she's the baby, and many cousins) working in Las Vegas as a casino photographer and is running away from the boy next door, a cop named Chuy (pronounced "Chewie"). He's a boy named Alex Whitman of Connecticut, with a prep school and Ivy League education, who is on an upward-rising career path as a New York-based nightclub construction executive; he's running from his girl next door in his way, too.
Alex and Isabel have a one-night stand (where it's stated that they used MANY condoms), and like any good one-night stand, she leaves before he can awaken, without a trace. Life goes on, then she comes back in three months to do the right thing and tell him she's having his baby, then tries to leave.
It's a romantic film from a girl's point of view ... for many men, it's probably more like a nightmare. She isn't asking for support or money, etc. She's a religious and superstitious girl and believes in signs, and that it's the right thing to let him know, even though she's planning on keeping and raising the child herself. But guys ... if a girl tells you that she's having your baby but to not worry, she's lying. She wants you to worry and do what's at least nominally right. This is where the movie can be annoying and predictable. She says what she doesn't want, but it's really what she wants, and clueless Alex has to find his way into his comfort zone.
He, of course, wants to do the right thing, but he has no clue what that might be. She wants likewise, but can't believe this is happening to her and keeps sending mixed signals, but with a somewhat snotty attitude, too. So they end up meeting her family, he falls in love, marries her in a Las Vegas Elvis chapel and you can imagine what happens afterwards. The happenings lean heavily into big traditional Mexican Catholic family values and ideals vs. New York corporate ambitions and proper Presbyterian ultra-white upbringing. If there is a theme or motif to this movie, it's that cultural differences and idiocy can be resolved if love is strong enough. And that doing the right thing is a matter of deciding what the right thing actually is.
It's also a very girly movie, in that it's about being so wonderful and irresistable that not only will a guy with good qualifications pick you up and give you the sexual night of your life, but he will be so intrigued by you that he'll plunge into the unknown for you, despite all the signals that tell him, NO! Eventually, he even pursues her to Mexico and back and desperately wants the baby, too. Sounds like a fanfic, eh? Hmn ... there is even a Star Wars reference -- Isabel's boy next door is a cop named "Chewie." (Alex, of course, introduced himself as Luke Skywalker ... he SHOULD have introduced himself as Han, don't you think??)
Matthew Perry is good as the confused building exec who doesn't think it's right to try and seduce a woman who's not only married, but controls the liquor board you need the permit from to open your casino. But he's bad enough to pick up a pretty girl on a line waiting for the restaurant bathroom. Selma Hayek is wonderful as the confused girl who knows what she wants, but she knows she shouldn't want it. She's also not ultra-skinny here -- beautifully plump and buxom and superstitious enough to believe that God knows your fate, but is entertained by the process of your figuring it out (that last part is my interpretation, by the way). It's worth seeing and the sappy among us will get weepy in a good way. Guys, don't roll your eyes, or you are guaranteed to be trying to explain yourselves and have to get something emotional and/or expensive for Valentine's Day or beyond to compensate.
I know a guy who once taught a film course; he used this one to demonstrate about cultural differences, à la West Side Story, or should we say, Romeo and Juliet. This has no murders or great dance scenes, but it's charming in it's way, and makes most sappy types cry. Good Valentine's Day film!
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