Fools Rush In

Way back in 1997, at the height of the Friends craze, Matthew Perry made a romantic comedy with a little known actress named Salma Hayek.   This was before Perry’s spiral into bad movies and before Hayek’s launch to A-lister status.  Although this wasn’t a huge box office success, it’s a touching comedy with two good actors.  Plus, it’s set in Vegas and so there’s plenty of good Elvis music to get you in the proper mood.

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Alex Whitman (Perry) is a corporate guy from New York who supervises the building and opening of night clubs.  His newest project is in Las Vegas where he meets Isabel Fuentes (Hayek), who is a struggling photographer.  They have a one-night stand which results in Isabel getting pregnant.  They get married immediately and the film follows their relationship with each other, friends and family.  Along the way they realize that fate brought them together and sometimes you just have to read the signs in order to get to your final destination.

Despite the lack of critical acclaim and commercial success, this is a surprisingly good romantic comedy.  Perry and Hayek have a natural chemistry throughout the film that makes them likable as both a couple and as individuals.  Hayek is really quite good at romantic comedies so it’s surprising that she hasn’t cashed in on the limitless ones Hollywood has been making.  She did a great job with the character and the passion that she brought to Isabel was outstanding.  Hayek has a great screen presence and seeing her in a movie like this is a reminder that she has a lot of depth and range as an actress.  Perry did a good job as well but comedy is his genre so it wasn’t as surprising that he was able to pull off the bumbling white guy in a house full of Hispanics.

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The movie has a nice overall good-time feeling surrounding it.  The best parts are the interactions between the in-laws and with Isabel’s family in general.  Many of the laughable moments were because of that culture barrier that’s between Alex and Isabel and although it was present, it wasn’t so overdone where it was tiresome.   The scenery was really amazing; the Nevada deserts and canyons are beautiful in this film and all of the scenes are full of rich colors.

As a fan of romantic comedies, I recommend this one. I think there are so many sub par ones out there and this one has made the cut because it’s funny and sweet without being over the top and corny.


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