Uma Thurman really meets her perfect match in THE ACCIDENTAL HUSBAND.
I’m a sucker for romantic comedies. Shoot me down but I love ’em. And my favourites are the one with the mis-matched boy and girl, who meet and hate other at first (but of course are perfect for each other) and then over the course of the movie, just totally fall in love. Aaahh. A couple of my posts so far are romantic comedies with just such a formula – The Proposal and Ghost Town – and now I’ve discovered another one, THE ACCIDENTAL HUSBAND.
I’d heard about this movie when it was released (in 2008) and it sounded like a really charming comedy – with Emma stuck in an increasingly romantic fix between two guys: her fiance Richard and her ‘accidental husband’ Patrick – so now I’ve finally seen it, I can tell you was really swept away by it.
By its romance – Emma, the radio love agony aunt, being attracted to the opposite kind of man she would normally recommend to her listeners to get involved with as (of course) at the start, she’s a little bit strait-laced; and Patrick, the blue collar fireman, whose life has been turned upside down by Emma’s advice to his fiancee to dump him, which pushes him to want a little ‘payback’. What could be better than teaching her a lesson about meddling in other’s people’s lives, whilst screwing up her impending wedding plans, than allowing his computer whiz friend to alter a form so they’re married. Trouble is when he meets her, he can’t stop himself falling for her.
And by its comedy – the boy meets girl story but with a twist. Some great characters find themselves in some great set pieces and laughs ensue: at the wedding cake tasting that Patrick has invited himself to and where he and Emma are mistaken for a couple, so have to come up with a story as to how they met; the classic ‘you have to pretend to be someone else’ scenario as something vital depends on it – in this case, Patrick has to be ‘Richard’ in front of the big cheese publisher and his wife (Keir Dullea and Isabella Rossellini); Colin Firth as the real Richard, having a total sweet tooth and so hoovers up anything he can get his hands on when he’s stressed (which is most of the movie); the Indian family who run the restaurant below Patrick’s apartment and have adopted him, headed up by Ajay Naidu’s Deep – seriously funny and really tells it like it is “Can’t you see his heart is broken? He doesn’t want to eat!”
It’s all headed up by Uma Thurman (so gorgeous in other romantic comedies like Prime and way before that, The Truth About Cats & Dogs), here looking like a golden lioness – all proud and haughty at the start, crumbling to being totally captivated by her ‘unsuitable’ romantic choice at the movie’s conclusion and Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Patrick (fantastic in such different roles in movies like Watchmen, The Losers and more recently Texas Killing Fields) – all laid back charisma and just a decent guy, who realises he can’t really continue with his plan to bring Emma ‘down a peg’ because he’s in love with her.
The whole thing’s directed with just the right light touch by Griffin Dunne and it has at its heart such as a sweet message, passed to Emma by her dad (played to smooth perfection by Sam Shepard) – even if you think you and your partner seem totally unsuitable opposites, if you’re really in love, “you just don’t sweat the small stuff”.