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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Romance > Because I Said So (Widescreen/DVD-Video)

Because I Said So (Widescreen/DVD-Video)


Picture: C+     Sound: B-     Extras: C-     Film: C-



Diane Keaton continued to play it safe as an obnoxious, overbearing and even controlling mother in Michael Lehmann’s would be comedy Because I Said So (1987) where we can believe Keaton is the mother of Mandy Moore, Piper Perabo and Lauren Graham, but not much more.  Mom runs a catering service, especially for weddings and that also means tons of great food.  Faster than you can say TV Dinner, the ladies are getting together for a very dysfunctional time.


Unfortunately, this becomes like an old formula sitcom that went with those kinds of dinners, especially when mom decides to secretly place an advertisement in the personals for Milly (Moore) and try to fix her up.  Of course, everything goes wrong… predictably wrong and the film becomes so infected with a “cutesy” mentality that it just disintegrates before the viewers eyes into the kind of silliness the once important Keaton keeps signing up for.  This is the way to continue a career?


As for Lehmann, he once had a very promising career and though he is at least a capable director, he never recovered from Hudson Hawk and has taken no major risks since to come back.  Even more than Keaton, seeing his career turn into dribble like this is most unfortunate.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image is clear from a new source, yet it joins Alpha Dog and The Hitcher remake as films that looked clearer in 35mm in odd ways over the DVD versions in a way where the DVD looks slightly phony.  It leads me to conclude that Universal and their disc facilities have tweaked their facilities in some way that has slightly backfired in the resulting production.  Not that this film is a visual masterwork, but the scenes where food are involved made the food look edible in 35mm, while they are like a bad food ad from TV here.


The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is better, though a mix for a “woman’s film” like this is more concerned with music and jokes than anything that will challenge one’s system.  The combination is good, though an eventually HD-DVD would be expected to fare better overall.  Extras include a making of featurette, piece on how the movie came to life, Designing A Wilder World, piece on the creative team behind the sets, clothes and desserts designed for the film.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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