All About Steve (2009)
98 min., rated PG-13.
Grade: D -
If there was a clue for the quality of "All About Steve" on a crossword puzzle, eight down, it'd be “dreadful.” Yikes, what an embarrassing, wincingly unfunny movie this is!
Sandra Bullock, love her to death, is Mary Horowitz, an eccentric, socially inert crossword constructor for a Sacramento newspaper who wears her favorite pair of knee-high red disco boots and never shuts up. Once she's set up on a blind date by her parents with hunky cable news cameraman Steve (Bradley Cooper), she goes gaga over him and turns into a stage five clinger as she keeps stalking him to convince Steve that he's the one.
Maybe, just maybe, we're supposed to love Mary for her daffy quirks and chattering optimism, but the character is seriously deranged and strident, and once she falls into an abandoned mine shaft with a deaf kid, you don't really care if she gets out or not (the deaf kid's the lucky one). Bullock has played these likable, awkward women before, and she's adept at bringing energy, but with the one-note, irritating Mary, the actress overworks herself and is made a fool. “Quiet time might be real good right about now,” as one character says to Mary: our sentiments exactly. And although you don't want to blame her, she executive produced!
Cooper's Steve comes off as a smarmy jerk, while Ken Jeong, Thomas Haden Church, and Beth Grant are too good at their comedy trade to waste their time with this stupid, exasperating material. Sandy and Bradley had a good year with their own respective comedies, "The Proposal" and "The Hangover," but what the hell interested these marquee stars in signing on to such a creepy, charmless “screwball romantic comedy?" There's obvious media satire about the glorification of three-legged rednecks, and finally a moralizing lesson about “Gosh, darn it, be yourself!” and that oddballs can be deities.
Everyone's busting their buns to make it funny, but "All About Steve" should've been tossed down that mine shaft so it wouldn't have seen the light of day.