Veteran rom-com watchers know the gist of every film in the genre. You know that there will be a woman that is likely about to get married or at least in a serious relationship that isn’t exactly perfect. She will then meet a new man that is exciting and new and nothing like the man she is with now. Eventually, she must choose between the two, and almost always she chooses the new guy because he is her soul mate. The best romantic comedies take the formula and tweak it just enough to make things fresh and different. Sometimes films like these, though, try too hard to be different.
It’s never a good sign when a romantic comedy goes straight to DVD when it was supposed to first be released in theaters. But with stars like Uma Thurman, Colin Firth, and Grey’s Anatomy‘s Jeffrey Dean Morgan, The Accidental Husband couldn’t be that bad, could it?
Thurman plays Dr. Emma Lloyd, a New York radio DJ who dishes out advice on love. She is about to get married to Richard (Firth), her rich and dependable fiance. But then she discovers that City Hall records have her down as being already married. Blame it on New York firefighter Patrick (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), who decided to get revenge on Emma after his fiance broke things off with him based on Emma’s love advice on her radio show. He enlists a computer hacker to break into City Hall records and make Patrick Emma’s husband, and thus, sabotage her marriage. But what happens when Emma has to track down Patrick and actually meets him so that they can get an annulment?
This comedy is ultimately extremely predictable. It has an interesting premise at first, but once computer hackers get involved, it’s pretty much downhill from there. Once you hear that Emma has to track down Patrick to get annulment, you know almost immediately that they will fall in love at the end. It’s a story we have seen many times before. The weird thing about this film is that comedic relief comes from Patrick’s Indian best friend, Deep (Office Space‘s Ajay Naidu).
The Accidental Husband actually turns into a Bollywood film at times, which is something you don’t expect at all. At the same time, though, that kind of side antics just feels like more of a distraction than anything else. Some might think it’s fresh and different, but it really just feels like they are trying to hard to be different.
Someone else that is trying too hard at times is Uma Thurman. She can be funny, but in this film she tries too hard to be funny. She does look like she is having fun, though. Jeffrey Dean Morgan finally gets a starring role and considering the circumstances of a film like this, he’s excellent. If you are to new to him (see also Watchmen), you might even be surprised about how good he is in The Accidental Husband. Colin Firth is really just playing the same British character he always plays, which isn’t a bad thing. If there is one strength of this film, it is the chemistry among the three stars.
The Accidental Husband probably didn’t deserve to be released to theaters after all. It’s just an average romantic comedy but the three leads try to make the most of it. Interestingly enough, if you like Indian culture – Bollywood films in particular – you will probably like certain aspects in this comedy. Mothers, daughters and single gals are the ones most likely to be entertained, but don’t expect it to reach the heights of recent comedies like It’s Complicated or The Proposal.
The video included is available in both widescreen color presented at the 1.85:1 aspect ratio, which is enhanced for 16:9 TVs. The quality is good, but not the greatest. About on par with other new release films on DVD these days. No major problems here.
The audio included is available in either English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround sound. There are subtitles available in English as well. The dialogue and music come out loud and clear, so no major problems here either.
“Matters of the Heart” Featurette –
This runs 21 minutes and it’s a standard making-of. We get interviews with the cast and crew as they talk about how the film was made. A big fluffy piece as you might expect.
The Accidental Husband attempts to be a different kind of “romantic comedy”, but any film that goes straight to DVD with “big-name” actors involved is doomed from the start. It tries too hard to be different. Only hardcore fans of this type of film and the actors involved, will want to rent it.
Sony Home Entertainment presents . Directed by Griffin Dunne. Starring Uma Thurman, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Colin Firth, Sam Shepard, Lindsay Sloane, Justina Machado, and Ajay Naidu. Running time: 90 minutes. Rated PG-13. Released on DVD: November 10, 2009. Available at Amazon.com
Tags: Colin Firth, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Uma Thurman