FOOLS RUSH IN
Released in 1997, the Elvis song-titled Fools Rush In was a romantic comedy starring Matthew Perry and Salma Hayek as two people who spend the night together once in Las Vegas only to find, months later, that they are about to welcome a child prompting both of them to make some snappy and rather big decisions.
The casting of Matthew Perry in the lead role here, and the actor's reluctance to go too far beyond his popular Chandler persona is no accident as the film was released at the peak of Friends-mania. He plays schmucky architect Alex Whitman who is tasked with building a club in Las Vegas which, if the project is successful, might just prove to be the key to getting the big promotion he's been waiting for. He soon finds himself having a one night stand with photographer Isabel Fuentes (Salma Hayek) who disappears the next morning. Some time later, Isabel returns to announce that she is pregnant with his child and the new couple's wild adventure begins. Along the way, Alex clashes with Isabel's family due to cultural differences (their speedy Vegas wedding doesn't help much) and they eventually find their own relationship to be a challenge, one they'll have to resolve soon one way or another as the baby is still on the way.
Individually, these two main characters are endearing in their own way, but also quite infuriating so the fact that the leads make them as likable as they are is an achievement in itself but together, the chemistry isn't always there making Hayek and Perry feel like they're acting in completely different movies. Perry delivers a somewhat more restrained Chandler performance while Hayek's down-to-Earth approach somehow comes off as forced. This is a very simple story told with few surprises in the horizon making for a thoroughly predictable and rather flat experience. There are amusing, even sweet moments here and there but Fools Rush In just needed more laughs, secondary characters that stand out and, ultimately, sharper writing.
A rom-com like, say, Along Came Polly worked not because the two leads had vastly different personalities but because everything around them was so entertaining from their off-beat friends to the random situations they found themselves in that you were eager to see these two mismatched individuals tackle these challenges together. Here, you're made to feel like a parent shaking their head slightly at your kids' silly behavior when you should be feeling, well, entertained. This being a movie and all.
While this review may sound harsh, Fools Rush In is pretty harmless as far as rom-coms go. It fails to get laughs, or tears, but you won't have too bad a time sitting through it, especially if you're a Friends fan. It's just a little too shallow and unimaginative as a movie to really grab your attention, which is a shame considering the talented cast.