Love Stinks

1999, Movie, R, 93 mins


A cynical comedy about marriage-hungry viragos and the poor, defenseless men they put through living hell. Successful L.A. sitcom writer Seth Winnick (French Stewart) thinks he's found Ms. Right in Chelsea Turner (Bridgette Wilson), whom he meets at the wedding of writing partner Larry (Bill Bellamy) and Holly (Tyra Banks). But oh-ho-ho, does Seth have another thing coming. True, Chelsea is hot-to-trot and easy on the eyes. But she's also a scheming bitch, who within months of their first meeting has quit her job, redecorated his house, moved in with her nasty cat (Seth is, of course, allergic) and started hinting none-too-subtly about marriage. Seth pointedly ignores Chelsea's maneuvers until the great Valentine's Day blow-up, which ends with them agreeing to live together for a year and then re-evalute the engagement issue. When he fails to propose a year after that, she drops the nice-girl fa├žade and reveals the ball-busting demon beneath. Chelsea sues for palimony, demanding Seth's house and half his money, claiming she co-wrote his hit sitcom, "Ronnie & Juliet." The situation strains Seth's relationship with Larry and Holly, and damages his professional reputation; he's turned the lovey-dovey "Ronnie & Juliet" into a poisonous diatribe against scheming women and ratings are plummeting. Writer/director Jeff Franklin (creator of TV's Full House and Hangin' With Mr. Cooper) has "sitcom" written all over him; he's wedded to gag-lines and snotty comebacks at the expense of character, which might be better than being wedded to pratfalls and fart jokes, if he didn't include them too. And his feature has a sour undertone that strangles its cheap laughs; sure, women with wedlock on the brain and men led around by their private parts are good for a chuckle, but only if you have something witty or perceptive to say about them. leave a comment --Maitland McDonagh

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