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HEAD OVER HEELS

SYNOPSIS:
After breaking up with her cheating boyfriend art restorer Amanda Pierce (Monica Potter) moves into a Manhattan apartment with four models who enlist her as the subject of a makeover experiment. Her romantic prospects also appear to be improving when she meets handsome and charming Jim (Freddie Prinze Jr) who lives in the building next door. Her happiness is short-lived when her flatmates report they have witnessed him committing murder in his apartment. In an effort to discover the truth Amanda and the models become amateur sleuths

"A bright and breezy start goes nowhere in this ultimately miserable attempt to mix murder, mirth and romance. Monica Potter's appealing presence and the potential for fun as dreamy art restorer Amanda moves in with "the last four non-smoking models in Manhattan" is sunk by a script that relies on increasinglly ludicrous situations from which to extract laughs. There's a nice feel to the humour in Amanda's workplace where a Greek Chorus of old biddies with hearing problems fire off some neat quips and her awkward meeting with handsome Jim (Prinze) also inspires hopes of a good old-fashioned romantic romp. Then it all goes horribly wrong as the ridiculous "is Jim a murderer?" sub-plot takes over and the tone literally goes down the toilet. Gags about the lecherous uncle of Australian model Candi (Sarah O'Hare) and a scene in which the amateur sleuths are trapped in an exploding toilet cubicle are unfunny under any circumstances and simply don't belong in what's supposed to be a piece of lighthearted mistaken identity fluff. And then there's another dumb sub-plot involving the Russian between Prinze and Potter and the energetic performances (with atrocious material) of non-smoking O'Hare, China Chow, Salomon Harlow and Ivana Milicevic, but only just. Monica Potter's opening voice-over informs us she's "the woman who has the world's worst judgement in men". Her ability with the male of the species improves by film's end - now all she has to do is improve her judgement of scripts that fail to do her talent any justice."
Richard Kuipers

"What we have here is a by-the-numbers romance movie wrapped in a girly-girl comedy that perhaps only girls - or especially models - will find amusing. It’s full of lowbrow humour, like the crass sexual innuendo when Amanda meets her knight in shining armour, whose friendly Great Dane attempts to, um, give her his bone. Or when the supermodels hide out in Jim’s bathroom while he relieves himself of a bad case of number 2s on the toilet. Yep, it’s a classy affair. Imagine the Farrelly brothers brand of humour mixed with the voyeuristic elements of Rear Window - then lower your expectations - and you will be close to Head Over Heels. But its handling of the “all models are dumb” stereotype is playful. The supermodels walk around half naked, incessantly swap clothes, use men like credit cards, and take everything for granted. But the jokes quickly tire out, like Sarah O’Hare’s “I’m from Ars-trail-ya” Candi, a ditsy blonde always wearing bandages after cosmetic surgery, and constantly bumping into things due to the patches on her eyes. O’Hare gets most of the comic relief here, actually playing up her Aussie accent and adding plenty of cultural cringe inducing Australianisms like bloke, bird, dingo, bleedin’, and slasha. But at least in her debut role she lightens this dull affair, while the other three supermodels basically blend into one. Head Over Heels’ only saving grace is the lovely Monica Potter, a more grounded and graceful girl next-door than Sandra Bullock. She gives her character the required sense of fragility and longing, and is the perfect cipher for the models’ materialism. Freddie Prinze Jr gives his usual doe-eyed, spike-haired, one-note performance. It’s little wonder he’s been cast to play cartoon character Fred in the upcoming Scooby Doo feature. And come to think of it, Head Over Heels kind of resembles a Scooby Doo mystery."
Shannon J. Harvey

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 2
Mixed: 0

TRAILER

HEAD OVER HEELS (M)
(US)

CAST: Monica Potter, Freddie Prinze Jr., Shalom Harlow, Sarah O'Hare

PRODUCERS: Robert Simonds

DIRECTOR: Mark Waters

SCRIPT: Ron Burch, David Kidd - from a story by John J. Strauss, Ed Decter, David Kidd and Ron Burch

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Mark Plummer

EDITOR: Cara Silverman

MUSIC: Randy Edelman, Steve Porcaro

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Perry Andelin Blake

RUNNING TIME: 86 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: UIP

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: May 31, 2001

VIDEO RELEASE: November 7, 2001

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Col TriStar Home Entertainment







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