Head Over Heels

In Head Over Heels, Met art restorer Amanda Pierce falls for fashion executive Jim Winston. Things take a turn for the worse when Pierce (Monica Potter, Patch Adams, Without Limits) thinks she saw Winston (Freddie Prinze Jr., Down to You, Boys and Girls) murder a woman. Oh, and Pierce lives with four models. These models may be the only amusing aspect of the movie. In fact, real models, Sarah O'Hare, Tomiko Frasier, Shalom Harlow (Cherry, In & Out) and Ivana Milicevic (Love Stinks, Enemy of the State) play Pierce's roommates. However, one would think that with four credited screenwriters (John J. Strauss, Ed Decter, David Kidd, and Ron Burch), could come up with something funnier and more original. The fact that Strauss and Decter helped out with the story for There's Something About Mary is telling.

Most of the humor in Head Over Heels is lame. Some of it is surprisingly scatological given the supposed audience demographic. That stuff just does not fit with the tone of the movie. Mostly, it is Potter falling down. She has the ability to do physical comedy, but the nonstop barrage is tiresome. Falling down once is amusing. Falling down multiple times is not. Potter's voice also has a wonderful quaver in it that helps cement her character. Pierce always seems to fall hopelessly in love with the wrong man. As soon as she sees Prinze, she swoons. Her roommates scheme to set them up, and when they finally do get together, Pierce has to try to hide her anxiety over his supposed murder. Prinze is not suited for this role. For one, he still looks like he's in high school, and years younger than Potter. His only job in the first half of the movie is to give wide smiles to the camera. The more the movie focuses on Pierce investigating the murder, the worse Head Over Heels becomes. Only the continual antics of O'Hare, Frasier, Harlow, and Milicevic keep it amusing. They give good-natured sendups of every model stereotype known to man. O'Hare in particular is very watchable as the ultimate dumb blonde. Plus, they all perform well enough as actors.

Director Mark Waters (The House of Yes) efficiently pumps out this strictly by-the-numbers effort. The story moves too quickly for anyone in the audience to take a breath, and the characters are too stupid to realize what is going on until the end. Prinze and Potter have little chemistry, but this is mostly the fault of the script. The really sad part is that the first part of the movie is somewhat enjoyable. It just starts rolling downhill and picking up momentum. By the time the movie ends, the plot is preposterous, even allowing for the fact that romantic comedy plots are never too realistic.

Haro Rates It: Pretty Bad.
1 hour, 34 minutes, Rated PG-13 for sexual content, crude humor, and language.

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