Review in a Hurry: An uptight East Coaster (Amy Adams) meets a cranky Irish guy in the bonnie countryside and we all get another formulatic rom-com. The only bright spot in this formulaic rom-com turns out to be its leading lady.
The Bigger Picture: When will Hollywood learn that real estate is not a career that Americans find sympathetic? First there was Sarah Jessica Parker's go-go broker in Did You Hear About the Morgans? Now we get Adams as Anna, a "stager" (she makes for-sale condos look all nice, see) so uptight and brittle one wonders if wardrobe didn't maybe cinch the ankle straps too tightly on the actress's $600 designer shoes.
Anna must control everything, a trait that would make audiences want to light her hair on fire—if she were played by anyone other than Amy Adams.
Here the actress walks a tightrope between vulnerable and prickly, with very little aid from a script that seems hell-bent on making the world want to kill her.
In the other corner: Bitter Irish brew Declan (Matthew Goode), who recently had his shamrock stepped on by some other colleen. Hates women, hates life, doesn't particularly seem to care what the audience thinks, either. He appears to have drifted onto the set looking for bagels on the catering truck. The movie wakes up whenever Goode musters a bit of energy, but those moments don't come often enough to keep him from fading into the Auld Sod.
The two of them meet cute when Anna arrives in Ireland hoping to propose to her cardiologist boyfriend (Adam Scott), who is in Dublin for a conference. Declan is tending the bar at a local, stereotype-choked Guinness hole, complete with old folks arguing over the last time the train left County Kerry.
The inevitable happens over a serious of mud-splattered slapstick moments, and all over a tradition that makes about as much sense as a piece of Manhattan sushi on top of an Irish stew.
The 180—a Second Opinion: Despite its many flaws, the film does pull off what many other rom-coms can't: Make us care whether Anna gets the right man. The producers—and anybody who goes to see it—have Adams to thank for that.
There's so much else to see, too—have a look in our Totally New Releases gallery!