Mr. Wrong

on February 16, 1996 by Christine James
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   Thanks to "Mr. Wrong's" media blitz, we know long before TV talent coordinator Martha (Ellen DeGeneres) does that her dream man is actually a psychotic, obsessive cretin. So we can't enjoy the falling-in-love segments, nor can we fully appreciate Martha's bafflement as her supposed soulmate Whitman (Bill Pullman) begins showing his true colors. From there, it's a downward spiral in a one-joke nightmare. The ending in particular is weak, not even simulating a chemistry between the intended paramours. Undermining the suspension of disbelief, Martha's family and friends are too readily duped by Whitman.
   Anyone who has seen DeGeneres' sitcom "Ellen" is familiar with her persona here. She plays the straight man to life itself, garnering laughs with reaction shots and bewildered but astute one-liners. Still, it's nothing new and is wearing thin. Pullman, often cast as The Nice Guy, has fun playing the heel, but due to the writing we don't get to share in the fun very much. Starring Ellen DeGeneres, Bill Pullman, Joan Cusack, Dean Stockwell and Joan Plowright. Directed by Nick Castle. Written by Chris Matheson, Kerry Ehrin and Craig Munson. Produced by Marty Katz. A Buena Vista release. Comedy. Rated PG-13 for crude language, some sex-related scenes and drug content. Running time: 96 min
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