XenForo Template BECAUSE I SAID SO Studio: Universal Film Year: 2007 Film Length: 1 hour 42 minutes Genre: Romantic Comedy Aspect Ratio: • 1.85:1 theatrical ratio Colour/B&W: Colour Audio: • English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish Film Rating: PG-13 Release Date: May 8, 2007. Rating: 2/5 With: Diane Keaton, Mandy Moore, Gabriel Macht, Tom Everett Scott, Lauren Graham, Piper Perabo and Stephen Collins Written by: Karen Leigh Hopkins and Jessie Nelson Directed by: Michael Lehmann BECAUSE I SAID SO is a romantic comedy that works very hard to tell the story of a mother who goes to extreme lengths to help her daughter’s love life. Diane Keaton plays the mother and Mandy Moore plays her youngest daughter. Lauren Graham and Piper Perabo show up in supporting roles as the other two daughters of the family. The performances here are fairly broad, but there are occasionally quieter moments. The film is clearly intended to appeal to women and will likely entertain female viewers. Men may find this one tougher to get through. The problem is that the writers and the director are working SO hard to be cute and loveably silly that some scenes are genuinely cringe-worthy. The best scenes in the film feature Mandy Moore and a surprisingly mellow Stephen Collins pulling off the most effective performances. VIDEO QUALITY: 3/5 BECAUSE I SAID SO features a fine anamorphic 1.85:1 transfer. There’s plenty of variety in the colors, thanks to the multiple wardrobe changes and cake changes that occur throughout the film. There’s a good variety of lighting situations, and the black levels are solid. This isn’t a reference-quality transfer, but it’s not a bad one either. AUDIO QUALITY: 3/5 BECAUSE I SAID SO has a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, only available in English. The mix is fine, but the surround channels really don’t get used much, other than for the music and songs. There are very few directional effects here, even when they are called for – there are constant running gags of ringing cell phones, and of messages playing on answering machines. Even these effects are centered on the front speakers. It’s also strange to see an English-only disc in this department. SPECIAL FEATURES: 2/5 • The Making of BECAUSE I SAID SO – (7:57) A non-anamorphic featurette on the making of the film is included, consisting of the usual intercuts between cast and key crew interviews, clips from the movie and a few moments of behind the scenes video. There’s nothing particularly deep here – just the actors praising Diane Keaton and the director acknowledging the female emphasis of the film. In an ironic note, the features menu lists the “Making of” documentary as “Brought to you by Volkswagen.” (The irony stems from the movie actively promoting hybrid cars – and Volkswagen doesn’t make one) This is also the first (and I hope, LAST) time I have seen overt product placement stamped onto a DVD menu or feature. • Designing a “Wilder World” – (5:38) This is a brief non-anamorphic look at some aspects of design in the film. The wardrobe designer, Shay Cunliffe, is interviewed about her costume designs. Her interviews are followed by intercuts between the expected wardrobe sketches and the actual dresses and outfits seen in the film. Another series of intercut interviews focuses on the “Cake Divas” – a pair of cake designers who have multiple wedding cakes and other items on display throughout the film. • iVillage Pregnancy Ad – (:25) This is a brief non-anamorphic commercial for the iVillage website. As with the product placement on the “making of” featurette, this is an idea I hope is not repeated on future releases. Don’t we have enough commercials on television? • Music Video “World Spins Madly On” by The Weepies (3:31) This is a non-anamorphic series of clips from the film cut to the song from the soundtrack. There is no footage of the band – just the movie clips. Once the song finishes, we are regaled with another 30 second commercial – this time for the soundtrack CD. Subtitles are available for the film and the extras in English and Spanish. A scene index is included for easy access. And the usual spread of movie and HD-DVD trailers is included as part of the pre-menu screens As with some prior releases, the trailers are non-anamorphic, including the HD-DVD trailer... IN THE END... BECAUSE I SAID SO is probably a more appealing choice for women than for men. However, I must qualify that as much of the humor in it is so over-the-top that it may drive away many viewers. It does have some nice moments where things quiet down a bit, but there simply isn’t much substance here. In the end, the film is much like the cakes featured throughout – light and fluffy with a lot of icing. There isn’t much in the package here in terms of picture, sound or special features to add to the appeal. Again, it’s not a bad transfer by any means – it just isn’t a very exciting one. That, coupled with the unfortunate commercials and product placement, makes this disc hard to recommend. I suggest renting this one before purchasing it – and beyond that, I strongly suggest checking the preview materials online before renting it. Kevin Koster May 9, 2007.