If Lucy Fell Movie Review

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1996 is shaping up to be a great year for comedy. If Lucy Fell is the fifth romantic comedy I've reviewed this year, and it is the fourth to get my [][][][] rating (no other genres have reached this high in 1996, according to my archives).

So, am I getting soft for romances? Maybe so, but the quality of American comedy writing really seems to be on the rise. If Lucy Fell was written, directed, and stars one of our most promising up-and-comers, Eric Schaeffer, whose docu-comedic first (independent) film, My Life's in Turnaround, was a sleeper hit in 1994.

If Lucy Fell brings Schaeffer into the world of big budget Hollywood, where he has adapted quite well, bringing another fresh and extremely funny comedy to the screen. The picture focuses on two long-time friends and roommates, Joe (Schaeffer) and Lucy (Sarah Jessica Parker), who vow to commit suicide on Lucy's 30th birthday if they haven't found true happiness (or some semblance thereof) by then. Turns out that's a month away.

Even worse is the fact that Joe and Lucy seem to be completely dysfunctional. Joe is a wired and slightly deranged artist, obsessed with the neighbor in the window across the alley (Elle Macpherson, and I'd be obsessed too). Lucy is a therapist who probably needs the help a little more herself.

Schaeffer's writing provides nonstop laughs for a solid 50 minutes before the film settles onto the steadier track of how If Lucy Fell inevitably ends, but those are a fun 50 minutes, enhanced by some great supporting characters and subplots. Schaeffer himself is the hands-down show stealer, with his character so well-written as to be readily identifiable to every guy who's ever had an intense longing for a woman combined with the total inability to speak to her (hey, that's me!).

Of course, If Lucy Fell, while a great date movie, isn't going to be loved by everyone. Some parts (the beginning) are a lot better than others (the end). The conclusion is far too tidy and convenient. A couple of characters are annoying (both happen to be Lucy's dalliances--Dick (a monotone Bill Sage) and Bwick (a goofball Ben Stiller)). And sometimes the plot isn't entirely credible (you'll know what I mean when you see it). But these problems are far outweighed by the down-to-earth, "I can relate" comedy that Schaeffer has judiciously woven into the film.

(P.S. Be sure to watch for cameos by The Late Show's Mujibur and Sirajul!)

Forget Lucy. Here's Elle! (Fun fact: The face inside the heart, while difficult to see, is actually of yours truly.)

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If Lucy Fell Rating

" Excellent "

Rating: R, 1996

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