Fool's Gold – DVD Review

Foolʼs Gold
Available at Amazon.com

Chemistry is the key to any successful relationship, whether it be in real life or on the big screen. No genre of film relies more on chemistry between its stars than romantic comedies. Other genres of film can rely on other aspects like story or uniqueness and still be considered a success. But for one romantic comedy to rise above the rest and stand out in this genre, it has to have tremendous on-screen chemistry between its leading actors. Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson have both had success as stars in previous romantic comedies, including one with each other (How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days), but the question here is whether adding these two together again in Fool’s Gold will be another winning formula for success in another romantic comedy.

In Fool’s Gold, Ben Finn Finnegan (Matthew McConaughey) is a good-natured, surf bum-turned-treasure hunter who is obsessed with finding the legendary 18th century Queens Dowry — 40 chests of exotic treasure that was lost at sea in 1715. In his quest, Finn has sunk everything he has, including his marriage to Tess Finnegan (Kate Hudson), and his more-rusty-than-trusty salvage boat, “Booty Calls”. Just as Tess has begun to rebuild her life, working aboard a mega-yacht owned by billionaire Nigel Honeycutt (Donald Sutherland), Finn discovers a vital clue to the treasures whereabouts. Certain that his luck will change with the newfound information, Finn maneuvers himself aboard Nigel’s yacht and, using his good-natured charm, convinces the tycoon and his Blackberry-wielding, celebutante daughter, Gemma (Alexis Dziena), to join him in the pursuit of the Spanish treasure. Against Tess’s better judgment, the search rekindles her love of discovery. But they are not the only ones after the treasure. Finns mentor-turned-nemesis Moe Fitch (Ray Winstone) has also set out to claim the prize.

If you just looked at Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey you would think that they would make a great couple in real life. You would expect that this chemistry would transfer to the big screen, but it just didn’t work here. For whatever reason, their chemistry just wasn’t as strong as it was in How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days. McConaughey is playing a goofy dumb guy in Fool’s Gold, which is the perfect role for him. Likewise Kate Hudson is more or less playing herself. So on their own you couldn’t have picked any two actors to play these parts; but the chemistry between these two as a romantic couple just never came together like you thought it would. The rest of the cast is fairly unmemorable, but for the most part they do a decent job in their supporting roles.

The story for this romantic comedy is not as “cookie-cutter” as most films out there in this genre. But that doesn’t mean it’s entirely original. This film will remind a lot of people of Romancing the Stone. There is lots of potential for comedy in this new romantic adventure quest. But it’s mostly wasted because there is too much going on to care one way or another. In addition, in true rom-com fashion, there is no surprise ending to this film.

On paper this film had the potential to be a great romantic comedy with Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson headlining. The story is just too out there and the chemistry between Hudson and McConaughey is not as good as it has been in the past. In the end, Fool’s Gold is not that memorable. But if you just want to see McConaughey without his shirt on again or are absolutely in love with Kate Hudson, then this is the film for you.

The video is given in 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen color, which is enhanced for 16:9 TVs. The video is good, but nothing special. There are not any major problems, though.

The audio included is available in English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround sound, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround sound, or French 5.1 Surround sound. There are subtitles available in English SDH as well. The dialogue and music come out loud and clear, so no major problems here either.

“Fool’s Gold: Flirting with Adventure – The Chemistry Between Two Charming Contemporary Stars” Featurette
This runs 4 minutes and it’s your typical “behind-the-scenes/making of” featurette. Nothing too special really.

Gag Reel
This runs 3 minutes and it’s your standard funny stuff from the film.

I can only recommend a rental at best for this one, unless you are a hardcore fan of McConaughey or Hudson. But they have both been in better movies. So if you don’t catch this one, you won’t be missing a whole lot.

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Warner Home Video presents Fool’s Gold. Directed by Andy Tennant. Written by John Clarflin, Daniel Zelman, and Tennant. Starring Matthew McConaughey, Kate Hudson, Donald Sutherland, and Ray Winstone. Running time: 112 minutes. Rated: PG-13. Released on DVD: June 17, 2008. Available at Amazon.com

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