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Case Number 00308

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Love Stinks

Sony // 1999 // 94 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge Margo Reasner (Retired) // February 7th, 2000

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All Rise...

The Charge

Sometimes the best sex in the world…just isn't worth it.

Opening Statement

Although this movie should never receive any critical acclaim, if you've ever been in a relationship that's gone bad you'll be able to appreciate some of the humor presented in Love Stinks.

The Evidence

Love Stinks opens with Seth Winnick (French Stewart—best known as Harry Solomon on TVs 3rd Rock from the Sun) and his soon to be bride Chelsea Turner (Bridgette Wilson—House on Haunted Hill, I Know What You Did Last Summer) picking up their friends Larry (Bill Bellamy—host of MTV Jams and stand-up comic) and Holly (Tyra Banks—Jackie Ames on TVs The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, A Woman Like That) on route to Las Vegas for their wedding. While on the plane Larry insists that Seth join him in the bathroom and then tries to convince Seth that getting married to Chelsea might not be such a great idea. In one long flashback we are shown the rocky road of Seth and Chelsea's relationship leading up to the present moment.

Seth and Chelsea met at Larry and Holly's wedding rehearsal dinner. Seth was the Best Man and Chelsea was the Maid of Honor. Seth was instantly attracted to Chelsea and soon they were having their first date. On their first visit to Chelsea's apartment we see a coffee table covered with Bride magazines and cutout pictures of brides and grooms taped onto her bedroom mirror. She tells Seth that her mother is interested in her getting married as a cover-up and Seth buys it. Soon Chelsea maneuvers the relationship forward at hyperspeed much to Seth's dismay. Then the rest of the movie involves Chelsea trying to get Seth to ask her to marry him. When Seth resists doing this, things begin to get very ugly between them. The two of them do things to each other that the rest of us only fantasize about doing when we are involved in a rocky relationship.

Love Stinks was written, produced and directed by Jeff Franklin who created the TV series Full House and Hangin' with Mr. Cooper. Not surprisingly, this movie at times had a sitcom feel to it as well as some genuinely funny sitcom moments. And if you are even faintly amused by the movie itself you owe it to yourself to sit through the Commentary by the Director and Cast because this is where you're going to get your money's worth on this disc. I started listening to it just to try to get some sort of an idea where the Director was coming from when making this movie and found it to be so amusing that I couldn't turn it off. I will admit that after I got over trying to identify with these totally unlikable characters, and didn't care about them anymore, I also found the movie to be quite amusing as well.

The picture is presented in 1.85:1 widescreen aspect ratio enhanced for 16x9 TVs. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I will again point out that this was another extremely high quality video presentation from Columbia. (I really wish that they would hold seminars and teach the other studios their transferring techniques.) The sound was presented in Dolby Digital 2-channel Surround Sound and since this was a dialogue driven comedy it was sufficient for the needs of the movie. In addition to the Commentary there were also talent files and theatrical trailers for Love Stinks, Blind Date, My Best Friend's Wedding, and So I Married An Axe Murderer.

The Rebuttal Witnesses

Above I admitted that I found this movie to have some amusing moments. Now let me tell you why I'm rather embarrassed by that confession. To begin…the characters have to be the most unlikable group of people to ever be put on the screen. The women are made out to be conniving and willing to use their sexiness to trap a man into marriage. The men are total oafs with the sensitivity of sandpaper. Everyone looks nice and has money, but they all use crude language like drunken sailors, even when at public social events. And the poor hapless viewer doesn't know what to think of them during the first part of the movie. At some point I finally gave up trying to like any of them and began to enjoy, and find it amusing, the awful things that they were doing to one another.

The other big gripe that I had with this movie is that the majority of the things that were supposed to be funny just flat-out weren't amusing at all. For example, when Larry and Seth are in the airplane bathroom Seth is eye level with Larry's belt buckle and he says, "Larry, you're my best friend, but if I see Mr. Chocolate I'm going to scream." The movie is filled with these mindless one-liners; sort of like an R-rated sitcom where they say everything that they wouldn't be allowed to say on TV just because they can.

Closing Statement

If you have ever wondered what could have happened if you lived out some of your evil day-dreams toward the person you were in a bad relationship with or if you're looking to be amused by total mindless, sometimes offensive, humor then give this one a rental.

The Verdict

The court sentences the Director/Writer to time served in whichever relationship it was that made him want to make this movie. Columbia is totally acquitted.

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Scales of Justice

Video: 96
Audio: 85
Extras: 92
Acting: 85
Story: 70
Judgment: 86

Perp Profile

Studio: Sony
Video Formats:
• 1.85:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (English)
• English
• French
• Spanish
Running Time: 94 Minutes
Release Year: 1999
MPAA Rating: Rated R
• Comedy

Distinguishing Marks

• Commentary
• Four Theatrical Trailers
• Talent Files
• Production Notes Insert


• IMDb

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