Head Over Heels

on February 02, 2001 by Tim Cogshell
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   For reasons unclear, the producers of "Head Over Heels" thought it would be cool to combine the snappy patter of a Preston Sturges comedy with the mystery of a Hitchcock-style thriller--a sort of "Rear Window" meets "The Lady Eve." For future reference, this is not a good idea.

   Monica Potter ("The Very Thought of You") stars as the pretty but lovelorn Amanda, an art restorer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. When yet another unfaithful boyfriend jilts her for a model, she finds herself in need of a place to stay. She answers an ad for a room in a posh upper-eastside flat where she finds four, tall, willowy and utterly narcissistic supermodels looking to rent a closet with a mattress on the floor. For some reason she moves in. Across the way from the supermodel playhouse is the apartment of handsome man-about-town Jim Winston (Freddie Prinze Jr.). It isn't long before Jim and Amanda bump into each other and she falls for him, literally becoming weak in the knees. But there's something mysterious about the charming Jim Winston, and the stakes rise considerably when the girls think they witness him murdering a local socialite from their apartment window. Crazy misunderstandings and wacky hijinks ensue.

   Between the ridiculous stereotypes and "stupid model" jokes, the comedy in "Head Over Heels" stands up. The romance, on the other hand, simmers but never really boils. As lovely as Monica Potter is, she basically a poor man's Julia Roberts and should avoid roles in which the comparison is so obvious. The junior Freddie Prinze, though he works often, has yet to prove his worth as a matinee idol. Director Mark Waters showed a great deal of promise with his debut film, "The House of Yes" (starring Prinze and Parker Posey), but "Head Over Heels" does not put his light touch with dark comedy to particularly good use.    Starring Monica Potter, Freddie Prinze Jr., Sarah O'Hare, Shalom Harlow, Ivana Milicevic, Tomiko Fraser and China Chow. Directed by Mark Waters. Written by Ron Burch & David Kidd. Produced by Robert Simonds. A Universal release. Romantic comedy. Rated PG-13 for Sensuality and some language. Running time: 127 min.

Tags: Monica Potter, Freddie Prinze Jr., Sarah O'Hare, Shalom Harlow, Ivana Milicevic, Tomiko Fraser, China Chow, Directed by Mark Waters, Written by Ron Burch, David Kidd, Produced by Robert Simonds, A Universal release, Romantic comedy, apartment, murder, stereotypes
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