The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Mr. And Mrs. Smith

If ever there was a movie that compensated with starpower what it lacks in credibility, it is this Angelina Jolie-Brad Pitt vehicle cobbled together from bits of "True Lies" and "Prizzi's Honor."  A story of two top asassins who are married and have no idea of each other's true professions (!) is an amusing conceit, and there are few other stars who could have carried it off.  In truth, Pitt and Jolie are, quite possibly, the best-match screen pairing I've ever seen in my life in terms of sex appeal.  I'd pay a huge chunk of change to watch them in a porn film together.  Ah, well...the only other screen actors I'd consider as appealing might have been, say, Sidney Poitier and  
Diahann Carroll (I remember walking into her dressing room once when I worked at CBS, and can say in no uncertain terms that the woman had the strongest sexual force field I have ever encountered in my life).  At any rate, while the movie is slow getting off the ground, and never reaches the delicious heights of True Lies in either action or funniness, I think "Smith" is actually more honest, and says more about the yearnings for true connection between human beings.  Their inability to speak the truth causes all manner of loud and quiet havoc in their lives, and the resolution, if both flashy and abrupt, is gratifying.  I hear that the script went through almost a hundred re-writes, and I believe it (development hell, indeed!), but the final product is yummy, and a grat date movie.  I give it a strong "B."

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