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Story

Nice concept, shaky execution--that about sums up the mixed blessings of British actor Peter Howitt's intelligent but forgivably flawed debut as a writer-director. It's got more emotional depth than most frothy romantic comedies, and its central idea--the parallel tracking of two possible destinies for a young London professional played by Gwyneth Paltrow--is full of involving possibilities. It's essentially a what-if scenario with Helen (Paltrow) at the center of two slightly but significantly different romantic trajectories, one involving her two-timing boyfriend (John Lynch) and the other with an amiable chap (John Hannah) who represents a happier outcome. That's the film's basic problem, however: The two scenarios are so romantically imbalanced (one guy's a total cad, the other charmingly sincere) that Helen inadvertently comes off looking foolish and needlessly confused. Still, this remains a pleasant experiment, and Howitt's dialogue is witty enough to keep things entertaining. It's also a treat for Paltrow fans; not only does the svelte actress handle a British accent without embarrassing herself, but she gets to play two subtle variations of the same character, sporting different wardrobes and hairstyles in a role that plays into her glamorous off-screen persona. --Jeff Shannon

DVD Features

  • Color
  • Closed-captioned
  • Widescreen
  • Dolby

Cast

Gwyneth PaltrowHelen
John HannahJames
John LynchGerry
Jeanne TripplehornLydia
Nina YoungClaudia
Kevin McNallyPaul

  • Genre: Drama Movies
  • Director: Peter Howitt (II)
  • Producer: Paramount
  • Length: 99 minutes
  • Aspect ratio: Widescreen 1.85:1
  • Theatrical Release
    North AmericaApr 24, 1998
  • Ratings
    North AmericaPG-13
    Europe15
    AustraliaM
  • DVD Release
    North AmericaJan 7, 2003
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