Published Aug 01, 2004There is no little black book in the film Little Black Book. If the title had been true to the plot, the film would have been named Little Black Palm Pilot. Yet this is the least of the problems in this truly disastrous self-proclaimed "dark comedy." Filled with clichéd jokes, stale plotlines and awful performances, the film might as well of been called Little Hollywood Disaster.
The film's largest error was casting Brittany Murphy (likely because she was the only actress stupid enough to agree to take the role) in the lead role of Stacy Holt. Stacy is in every scene of the film and perhaps a better actress could have made her a little easier to stand. An aspiring television journalist (her life goal is to work with Diane Sawyer), Stacy lands a job as a producer at a Jerry Springer-esque talk show (with a host played by Kathy Bates). She quickly befriends her man-hating co-worker Barb (Holly Hunter), who influences Stacy to begin snooping through her boyfriend Derek's (Ron Livingston) stuff. Obvious mayhem ensues and the script takes you down a road so predictable and mediocre that you want to get off immediately.
Though Murphy's performance is part of the problem, the error that is Little Black Book is certainly a joint effort: the aforementioned script (written by Melissa Carter and Erica Bell, whose just-released tween film Sleepover was just as bad), the poor direction (Nick Hurran, in his first mainstream effort) and the uninspired supporting performances by Hunter and Bates. In fact, it was probably the simple fact that Hunter and Bates agreed to star in this movie that proves most bothersome both are Academy Award-winning actresses coming off Academy Award-nominated performances in Thirteen and About Schmidt. One can only hope that Hollywood's treatment of women over 40 is to blame and that they had little choice in associating themselves with this horrible movie. (Columbia TriStar)