All About Steve Phil Traill

All About Steve Phil Traill
With dual Golden Globe nominations in both the comedy and drama categories, for The Proposal and The Blind Side, respectively, 2009 seems to be Sandra Bullock's year. And while "Miss Congeniality" certainly delivers a powerful punch in the latter Southern football drama, elevating the film slightly beyond its hokey, perfunctory trappings, neither has much going for it beyond the spectrum of mass appeal. These commercial hits merely give fans of the spunky brunette's trademark shtick exactly what they want, packaging up a formula so audiences can feel a familiar reassurance. This is why it is unsurprising that Bullock's less successful 2009 entry, All About Steve, a film that unapologetically flaunts an unnerving and idiosyncratic character in our faces, would be met with resistance and hostility, seeing as how its marketing suggested a breezy romantic comedy — something it is not. Bullock's character, Mary Horowitz, is a socially challenged cruciverbalist that wants love but makes no effort to do what others expect of her. She speaks candidly of her sex life, or lack thereof, openly acknowledging her feelings and sharing her impressive, but peculiar, lexicon of knowledge, much to the chagrin of those around her, keen on irony and consigned inferiority. Since she is open and honest with the world around her, she assumes the same in return, which is why a brush off comment from douche bag reporter Steve (Bradley Cooper) turns into a cross-country chase, with him dramatically insisting she is a stalker. Surrounding this plot machination are many jokes about disabled children falling down abandoned mineshafts, along with an abundance of inappropriate, random dialogue, which keeps everything off-centre for the duration of the film. While perplexing and off-putting to most, this unpredictable template should genuinely amuse fans of unconventional comedy. Ms. Bullock's publicly criticized flop may have some pacing issues and the occasional joke that falls flat, but it also has the balls to flip off genre expectations, presenting a character that challenges social trappings. Included with the DVD is a feature-length commentary with the writer, director and crew, showing how much they cared about the project, along with a gag reel and a generic "making of." (Fox)