2007-02-23 / Columnists

MovieScope

'Because I Said So' - Matchmaking Mom
Review By Robert Snyder

In what should be a flat routine chick flick, actress Diane Keaton shines giving a glow to all around her. It's real movie star magic and Keaton at age 61 has it to spare.

"Because She Said So" has her as a mother from Hell, in that she's in youngest daughter Milly's face, life and everything else to the point of insanity. Long divorced yenta mom Daphne (Keaton) is too close to all three of her daughters, except the two older ones, Maggie (Lauren Graham) and Mae (Piper Perabo), are settled with significant others, while Milly (Mandy Moore) has her successful catering business and nothing else (sexually and socially speaking). Combining aspects of Dolly Levy and King Lear, Daphne takes the bulls by the horns (almost literally), by placing an online ad and interviewing potential male partners for mentally mousy Milly.

As are all the Keaton moments, the interview episodes are very funny with Daphne deciding on architect Jason (Tom Everett Scott) for the role of Mr. Right. However, inserting himself into the mix is handsome musician Johnny (Gabriel Macht), after watching the matchmaking Mom from behind his guitar near the bar. Before long, the clueless caterer finds herself bedding down with two hunks and in love with both, unbeknownst to them.

What a mess for the matchmaker. More complications occur when Johnny's single adorable dad, Joe ("Seventh Heaven's" Stephen Collins) becomes romantic with the meddlesome mother. Fortunately for Director Michael Lehman (once hot with 1989 "Heathers"), "Because I Said So" has the great Keaton to enliven things. In fact, she performs a classic comedy bit during a silent seduction scene with Joe…silent for her due to a sudden attack of laryngitis. She comes close to outdoing her crying-writing sequence from "Something's Gotta Give." In the world of pushy film parents, Keaton effortlessly puts Jane Fonda's "Monster-in-Law" to shame, but then she isn't dealing with the always one-note J-Lo. Written by Karen Leigh Hopkins and Jessie Nelson, "Because She Said So" is sitcom predictable. Only Keaton produces the surprises. She gives this chick flick a real kick.

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