Peculiar, then annoying

It is not much fun to laugh at a crazy person. None, I would say.

This is how Bradley Cooper

All About Steve

One and a half stars

Classified: PG-13 (for sexual content including innuendos)

It is not much fun to laugh at a crazy person. None, I would say.

Sandra Bullock plays a character who is bonkers in All About Steve, which is billed as a comedy but more resembles a perplexing public display of irrational behaviour.

Seeing her run around as a basket case makes you appreciate Lucille Ball, who could play a dizzy dame and make you like her. Overacting is risky even in a screwball comedy. Perhaps especially.

Bullock plays Mary Horowitz, a crossword puzzle constructor who knows a vast number of words and how they’re spelled, but not much about how they might enlighten her.

Because her apartment has to be fumigated, she moves back home with her parents. The headline here is how she earned enough to move out in the first place. I may be mistaken, but I think of crossword puzzle construction as more of a second job for smart people.

Anyway, Mary is 40ish and still single, perhaps in part because she wears extraordinarily clumpy shiny red disco boots everywhere, all the time — even on a 5K charity hike, I can only assume.

Her parents arrange a blind date with Steve (Bradley Cooper of The Hangover), a television cameraman for a cable news network. The network must not be as big as CNN because there’s only evidence of one crew: Steve and his on-air talent Hartman Hughes (Thomas Haden Church).

Mary lays her eyes on Steve and wants to lay everything else. This isn’t love at first sight; it’s erotomania.

On their first date, she gives his tonsils a tongue massage. Soon he’s fleeing from sightings of her and she’s in hot pursuit. Her desperation extends to a scene where she runs in her disco boots beside the TV news van, breathlessly small-talking to Steve through the window. If Steve had mercy, he would stop or speed up — anything would be better than playing her along.

The crew is assigned to the site of a big breaking story. A group of small deaf children has fallen into a well.

Why deaf? Diversity in casting, I guess. It’s not like they have to do anything other than be rescued. Mary pursues them to the accident scene, and in a shot destined to go viral on YouTube, she runs across the field behind Steve, waving wildly, and falls into the hole herself.

You see what I mean.

The point comes when we’re rolling our eyes right along with Mary. But don’t get me wrong. I am fond of Sandra Bullock. I’ve given her some good reviews, as recently as this summer (The Proposal).

But how does she choose her material? If she does it herself, she needs an agent. If it’s done by an agent, she needs to do it herself.

The screenplay by Kim Barker requires her to behave in an essentially disturbing way that began to wear on me.

It begins as merely peculiar, moves on to miscalculation and becomes seriously annoying.

One of its most unfortunate elements is seeing Bullock so stranded and helpless in a would-be comic frenzy. An actress should never, ever be asked to run beside a van in red disco boots for more than about half a block, and then only if her child is being kidnapped.

Roger Ebert is a syndicated Chicago Sun-Times movie critic.

Just Posted

Climate change’s impact on outdoor hockey discussed in Red Deer

Red Deer River Watershed Alliance held a forum Friday at the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame

Collision between Red Deer transit bus and truck investigated by RCMP

No one on bus was hurt, truck driver had minor injuries

Eckville man facing about 80 child sexual exploitation charges in court

More than half a million photos and videos found on electronic devices

Good-bye ice and snow, hello potholes on Red Deer roads

City workers will be spending 20 hours a day on various road repairs

Red Deer woman wins $1 million in lottery

A Red Deer woman spent $5 on a lottery ticket and became… Continue reading

WATCH: Fashion show highlights Cree designers

The fashion show was part of a Samson Cree Nation conference on MMIW

Puddle splashing: A rite of spring

Is there anything more fun than driving through water-filled potholes in the… Continue reading

Special evaluations can help seniors cope with cancer care

Before she could start breast cancer treatment, Nancy Simpson had to walk… Continue reading

Home renovator Mike Holmes oversees reno for paralyzed Humboldt Broncos player

AIRDRIE, Alta. — One of Canada’s most recognizable home renovators has acted… Continue reading

The endless war against invasive species

Group looks to protect native ecological environments in Alberta

WATCH: Fashion show highlights Cree designers

The fashion show was part of a Samson Cree Nation conference on MMIW

Flyers, Blackhawks, Sabres and Lightning to Europe in ‘19-20

Jakub Voracek was psyched at the mere suggestion the Philadelphia Flyers might… Continue reading

Danish receiver Nielsen looking to defy the odds again, this time at CFL combine

TORONTO — He’s coming to the CFL’s national combine as a definite… Continue reading

Mom with kids on YouTube channel suspected of child abuse

MARICOPA, Ariz. — A woman who operated a popular YouTube channel featuring… Continue reading

Most Read