“Tired Of Brainless, Star Vehicle, Rom-com Candy-coated Hollywood Crap? So Am I! And Here's Why!”
A miasma of vanity envelops America's Sweethearts where wit ought to reign.
Lisa Schwarzbaum - Entertainment Weekly
Like a bottle of lukewarm Champagne -- an expensive one, judging by the label -- America's Sweethearts opens with a promising burst of effervescence and quickly goes flat.
A.O. Scott - New York Times
Dean Essner - Guardian [UK]
Ex-Disney exec and production company honcho Joe Roth, who hasn't directed in 11 years, is somewhat out of practice and out of touch.
Susan Wloszczyna - USA Today
The premise falters along with much of the shtick.
Rita Kempley - Washington Post
A slam-dunk for Julia Roberts.
Desson Thomson - Washington Post
The film is longer on one-liners than inventiveness, focus, and sharp characterization.
Jay Carr - Boston Globe
A lackluster screwball comedy and dubious Julia Roberts vehicle.
J. Hoberman - Village Voice
[T]he jokes mostly fell flat.
Eric Harrison - Houston Chronicle
Opens with terrific promise, reaches a few dead ends but usually redeems itself.
Philip Wuntch - Dallas Morning News
Given its subject matter, it's too genial to cut deep.
Steven Rosen - Denver Post
Both harmlessly cynical and deeply fatuous.
Peter Rainer - New York Magazine
America's Sweethearts recycles Singin' in the Rain but lacks the sassy genius of that 1952 musical.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
All these good actors and all Crystal's sass and witty candor can't bring back the heyday of Billy Wilder and Preston Sturges. Or even, most of the time, their off-days.
Michael Wilmington - Chicago Tribune
A clunky ribbing of the movie industry.
Jonathan Rosenbaum - Chicago Reader
A mildly amusing mess.
Steven Rea - Philadelphia Inquirer
You go to America's Sweethearts anticipating a prime flossy, glossy entertainment. You come away better by a few laughs but with expectations sadly deflated.
Susan Stark - Detroit News
Too cynically slick and emotionally shallow.
Andrew Sarris - New York Observer
A boring, brain-dead flop.
Rex Reed - New York Observer
America's Sweethearts begins as a smartly promising, gently farcical comedy of manners and ends as sourly and haphazardly as the lives it is poking fun at.
Robert Koehler - Variety
As undemanding summer movies go, America's Sweethearts is surprisingly funny and sweet, despite some missed comic opportunities and curious casting choices.
Lou Lumenick - New York Post
A terrific romantic comedy about narcissism, insincerity, lunacy and glamour.
Jay Boyar - Orlando Sentinel
Not so much a terrible movie as a tryingly bland one, the star-stuffed America's Sweethearts actually manages to make Entertainment Tonight seem dangerous by comparison.
Geoff Pevere - Toronto Star
The kind of flick that gives fluff a good name.
Rick Groen - Globe and Mail
The movie has no sparkle, no charm, nothing to sweep us off our feet.
Charles Taylor - Salon.com
The movie is a polished muddle, fitfully amusing but with no spine.
David Edelstein - Slate
One of the most caustic and hilarious looks behind the scenes of movie-making since Bowfinger.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
Leaves you shaking your head over a lost opportunity to make a really great comedy.
Kirk Honeycutt - Hollywood Reporter
America's Sweethearts is a balloon, all right -- a lead one.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
Enormously engaging in its opening segments, it's unable to sustain that good feeling over the long haul.
Kenneth Turan - Los Angeles Times
So-so sitcom-like story of estranged movie stars.
Nell Minow - Common Sense Media
Kit Bowen - Hollywood.com
...an egregiously bland piece of work that ultimately makes certain sitcoms look deep by comparison.
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
Bob Grimm - Sacramento News & Review
Dean Essner - Empire Magazine
Lacking originality or true wit, this mildly amusing but utterly banal comedy again demonstrates that Joe Roth is not much of a director and that Billy Crystal can do only one thing as an actor--be Billy Crystal.
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
Geoff Andrew - Time Out
Michael Szymanski - Zap2it.com
Neil Norman - This is London
Christopher Tookey - Daily Mail [UK]
Could have been more with such a great cast, but still manages to entertain.
Scott Nash - Three Movie Buffs
Joe Mader - Palo Alto Weekly
It gets a little funnier toward the end, making up for the draggy first half . . . However, the shelf-life of this Sweetheart should be short indeed.
Brian Mckay - eFilmCritic.com
Slight, but at least fitfully funny.
Tom Grealis - RTE Interactive (Dublin, Ireland)
John R. McEwen - Film Quips Online
A loose-limbed, occasionally funny movie of many madly spinning teacups sunk by uninvested-in characters and niggling, wrongheaded details.
Brent Simon - Entertainment Today
Rebecca Murray - About.com
Dean Essner - Film Threat
Inevitably there are some funny moments, and of course this is an endlessly watchable cast. But the movie is just too over-the-top.
Ian Waldron-Mantgani - UK Critic
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
The film isn't just banal, it's aggressively, arrogantly banal.
Manohla Dargis - L.A. Weekly
When it peeks behind the scenes, the movie can be very, very funny.
Margaret A. McGurk - Cincinnati Enquirer
Urban Cinefile Critics - Urban Cinefile
Joshua Tyler - CinemaBlend.com
Dean Essner - Denver Rocky Mountain News
A timely comedy that pokes fun at all things Hollywood.
Betty Jo Tucker - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Disappointment comes from the sense that the picture started off with the promise of being something different, maybe even something scathing, but then settles for something rather routine.
Jeffrey Chen - Window to the Movies
The fact that this movie contains some of the most annoying, mannered actors on film today and still remains painless is quite a feat.
Jason Clark - Matinee Magazine
Its potential as a spicy spoof of Hollywood's incestuous relation with the entertainment press has been Ephroned away in favor of bland romantic comedy.
Jeffrey Westhoff - Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
The writers turn out to be brandishing butter knives instead of scalpels. ... the movie's real surprise is the feisty, vigorous turn by Zeta-Jones, who throws off zingers with grace and style.
James Sanford - Kalamazoo Gazette
Quando a projecao chega ao fim, a pergunta que nos surge a mente e: 'Ta, e dai?'.
Pablo Villaca - Cinema em Cena
There have been a lot of movies about how fake Hollywood is, but this is the fake Hollywood movie about how fake Hollywood is.
Mark Dujsik - Mark Reviews Movies
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
Joe Roth steps back into the director's chair after nearly a decade and AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS suffers the same diffused focus that his earlier efforts. After the tightly-paced opening, the film flounders until all the major players have been introduced.
Ted Murphy - Murphy's Movie Reviews
Jules Brenner - Cinema Signals
The movie is intended as an effervescent fizz; instead, it's a fizzle. What should have been a knockout punch turns out to be more of a gentle poke in the ribs.
John J. Puccio - Movie Metropolis
John J. Puccio - DVDTown.com
You have to suffer through the de facto Miss America, Julia Roberts, pretending as though she's blending in with the furniture.
Bill Chambers - Film Freak Central
Lo adorable de su elenco, lo divertido de su trama y su atractivo reparto, la hacen sumamente disfrutable
Jorge Avila Andrade - Moviola
Dean Essner - Irish Times
The script here is not funny, while the cast -- though star-studded -- is perfunctory.
Ben Falk - BBC
Una comedia ligera pero agradable y divertida, la disfrutaran mas los que gustan del cine y el show business...
Alex Ramirez - Cinenganos
Let me tell you the bottom line: the movie is cute and it's enjoyable.
Widgett Walls - Needcoffee.com
America's Sweethearts feels especially stupid for not offering Azaria's casting as some sort of auto-critique.
Ed Gonzalez - Slant Magazine
The so-called 'behind-the-scenes' intrigue often fails to rise above a television sitcom.
Ed Kelleher - Film Journal International
What happens when satire gets lazy.
Eugene Novikov - Film Blather
Emily Blunt - Blunt Review
"Less a romantic comedy than a scathing commentary on the uselessness and inanity of everyone in Hollywood."
Matt Easterbrook - Matt's Movie Reviews
Coming out the loser in the mess is Joe Roth, who shows that heading movie studios hasn't done any favors for whatever directorial ability he may have once had.
Michael Dequina - TheMovieReport.com
The set-up is slow and weak, but once it gets rolling, it works pretty well.
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
a tepid update of the screwball comedy formula with vaguely satiric overtones
James Kendrick - Q Network Film Desk
Gary Brown - Houston Community Newspapers
As plastic as the films it attempts to lampoon.
Catharine Tunnacliffe - eye WEEKLY
It is ironic that while the film tries to demystify its celebrities by showing their 'true' identities, it simultaneously creates a myth for the Julia Roberts character Kiki.
Yazmin Ghonaim - Cinephiles
As a Hollywood satire, America's Sweethearts is toothless. As a romance, it is at best a minor pleasure.
Edward Johnson-Ott - NUVO Newsweekly
Scott A. Mantz - Scott Mantz' Movie Reviews
As a romantic comedy, America's Sweethearts is atrocious. As a skewering of Hollywood ego, it's actually quite funny.
Mike McGranaghan - Aisle Seat
Dean Essner - Ebert & Roeper
The send-up is doggedly unclever in its attention to the vagaries of fame, insecurities of famous people, and artifice of Hollywood romance.
Cynthia Fuchs - Nitrate Online
Gives us television sitcom-like 'onesa' characters ... whose behavior seems prompted by whatever suits the scene rather than any kind of emotional truth.
Nell Minow - Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies
The film does indeed deliver the laughs, and I suppose we can't ask much more than that in these mediocre summer months.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
This film made me laugh just enough to recommend it. (It is a close call, however.)
Jim Chastain - Norman Transcript
The script ... is crisp and fresh, the gags well-aimed and nastily barbed.
Marc Savlov - Austin Chronicle
Takes aim at Hollywood and delightfully surprises with a funny and entertaining film.
Tony Toscano - Talking Pictures (U.S.)
A major studio takes aim at itself in a series of mostly successful sketches parodying the underhanded ways movie companies have of marketing their fare.
Harvey S. Karten - Compuserve
...while they [Crystal & Tolan] sprinkle the script with several brilliant bits, their story begins to deflate just when it should be reaching its comic climax.
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
A hypocritical purveyor of the same schlock nonsense it pretends to lampoon.
Chuck Rudolph - Matinee Magazine
A film that manages the frustrating feat of being pleasant and misguided at the same time.
Joe Baltake - Sacramento Bee
The script is full of half-considered character stances.
Paul Tatara - CNN.com
Crystal and Co. shoot for the cheapest laughs they can find, and ignore the tougher, smarter ones they might have discovered in so potentially rich a vein as Hollywood's marketing practices.
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
Not quite tart, not real sweet.
Robert W. Butler - Kansas City Star
A real crowd pleaser with laughs so big and often that you're going to miss some of the lines.
Steve Rhodes - Internet Reviews
Occasionally amusing, but also an irritating mess.
John Anderson - Newsday
Can't decide if it wants to be a romantic comedy or a sarcastic send-up of all things Hollywood.
Rob Caley - Jam! Movies
For the farce it so desperately wants to be, the film often feels slack and too reliant on so-so punch lines for laughs.
Rene Rodriguez - Miami Herald
The movie is often chaotic and sometimes so silly and broad it borders on slapstick, but mostly it's just dumb fun.
Liz Braun - Toronto Sun
If you like a little surprise in your movies, don't bother lining up for America's Sweethearts.
Janice Kennedy - Ottawa Citizen
The whole thing shambles when it should crackle.
Maitland McDonagh - TV Guide's Movie Guide
Director Roth's only real nerve is in mocking excessive close-ups in the Walken 'art' travesty. His own movie is a brazen, artless parade of them.
David Elliott - San Diego Union-Tribune
It's a perfectly fine setup for romantic-comedy capering, with enough good one-liners to satisfy. But Roth seems a bit at sea with his powerhouse cast.
Moira MacDonald - Seattle Times
There's nothing wrong with broad and campy humor, but America's Sweethearts rarely gets the tone right.
Donald Munro - Fresno Bee
Without the pleasure of watching this star quartet at work, America's Sweethearts would barely be a footnote on the summer of 2001. With them, it's just barely worth staying till the end.
Jack Garner - Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Think of it as the spoonful of sugar that will help the medicine go down, a drizzle of soft ice cream guaranteed to bring a quick smile to a kid's face on a bad day.
Barry Johnson - Oregonian
...it never rises above the level set by the routine, predictable screenplay...
Robin Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Once the junket begins the film starts falling apart. Parody and satire are replaced by tired, silly slapstick that is beneath the talents of the actors.
Louis B. Hobson - Calgary Sun
Just funny enough, just romantic enough and just satiric enough to be good.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
Far too many scenes seem painfully contrived, go nowhere and just aren't humorous. It's silly, but not very funny.
Brian Webster - Apollo Guide
Save for a few crackling wisecracks from Billy Crystal, and some moments of delicious is-she -acting-or -is-it-real insanity from Catherine Zeta-Jones, the fine cast sleepwalks through this film.
Jon Alon Walz - Boxoffice Magazine
Doesn't contain a single genuine emotion. It's just as bogus and hollow as the movie business it portrays.
Edward Guthmann - San Francisco Chronicle
If it wants to be a romance between [Cusack and Roberts], I've seen more sparks fly between ostriches.
Dustin Putman - DustinPutman.com
A case study in missed opportunities.
Jeff Vice - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Do you wonder how this movie will turn out? As with most romantic comedies, the joy is in the journey.
Karina Montgomery - Cinerina
You go away reasonably satisfied - not filled up, not delighted, but pleased that your expectations have been met again.
Lawrence Toppman - Charlotte Observer
I can't recall the last time I've seen this many supremely talented actors frittered away in such a slight romantic comedy.
Mark Ramsey - MovieJuice!
It's entertaining and funny enough, but like your average quote whore, shows you what you'd like to see, even if it's not entirely what is deserved.
Erik Childress - eFilmCritic.com
It's dull, two-dimensional, and totally toothless.
Kevin Maynard - Mr. Showbiz
While there are some laughs, this thing misses the mark too many times.
Eric Lurio - Greenwich Village Gazette
Wide parched vistas of monotony separate scrabbly oases of amusement and the payoff for a gag almost never matches the time devoted to its setup.
Bob Aulert - culturevulture.net
Bob Bloom - Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)
Susan Granger - www.susangranger.com
As romance, America's Sweethearts is as heartfelt as a sitcom; as Hollywood satire, it's as pointed as an issue of Mad.
Robert Wilonsky - New Times
An enjoyable night out.
Mary F. Pols - Contra Costa Times
A purely forgettable romantic comedy.
Brad Haynes - Orlando Weekly
A fairly hilarious inside-Hollywood farce.
William Arnold - Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Surprisingly little of the film rings true, as the stock comic situations pile up so quickly that its insider credibility is undermined.
Dave Kehr - Citysearch
America's Sweethearts would have been greatly helped by some rat-a-tat banter, but instead you get blather, and plenty of it.
Francesca Chapman - Philadelphia Daily News
It reminded me of a stand-up comedian who's not sure where his next joke is coming from.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
Often funny but not that engaging.
Duane Dudek - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
A Billy Crystal shtick-fest masquerading as romantic-comedy, though it's hardly ever romantic and only occasionally funny.
Bruce Newman - San Jose Mercury News
Pleasant old-school comedy with a few modern, edgy twists.
Bob Longino - Atlanta Journal-Constitution
The ultimate irony is that a film that preaches about the promotion of a dud is itself a dud.
Jon Popick - Planet Sick-Boy
It has the misfortune of being both too inside for outsiders and too unlikely for those in the know.
Terry Lawson - Detroit Free Press
Imperfect but entertaining, this self-deprecating film flirts with the public's perception of the Hollywood machine. And flirts are fun.
Laura Kelly - South Florida Sun-Sentinel
The flick's got enough charming moments to offer a sweet, if not great, time.
Dean Essner - E! Online
Disappointingly pedestrian for a movie with such ripe and easy targets for much sharper satire.
Rob Blackwelder - SPLICEDWire
Hollywood may be the dream factory, but this probably isn't the dream the filmmakers had in mind.
Pam Grady - Reel.com
Nothing overly special, new or particularly insightful about off-screen romance in Hollywood, but above average for what it's attempting to do and be.
Jim Judy - Screen It!
[Crystal] nearly sinks the medium-sized comedy boat they're all trying to occupy. Still, it's funny enough and forgettable enough that you probably won't mind, especially when Julia shows off her teeth.
Dave White - IFilm
For a film that attempts to be a breezy farce, it's a remarkably sour affair with a thinly veiled contempt and self-hatred for just about everything associated with Hollywood these days.
Glenn Whipp - Los Angeles Daily News
When Sweethearts runs out of sharp gags or crafty in-jokes, it leans too heavily on misplaced, cartoonish slapstick.
Sean O'Connell - Eclipse Magazine
A deft, old-fashioned combination of jokes and sentiment, the cinematic equivalent of one of Crystal's opening monologues at the Academy Awards.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
Dean Essner - BeatBoxBetty.com
Has its share of memorable funny moments.
Ross Anthony - Hollywood Report Card
Trite, unfunny, boring and a waste of everyone's talent.
JoBlo - JoBlo's Movie Emporium
Why would I want any of these jerks to be happy?
Christopher Null - Filmcritic.com
Creative and extremely fun to watch.
Light House Shines - Dark Horizons