All About Steve


Rating 2

Directed by Phil Traill

Written by Kim Barker

Sandra Bullock (Mary Horowitz), Bradley Cooper (Steve), Thomas Haden Church (Hartman Hughes), Ken Jeong (Angus), D J Qualls (Howard), Katy Mixon (Elizabeth), Keith David (Corbitt), Beth Grant (Mrs Horowitz), Howard Hesseman (Mr Horowitz) and M C Gainey (Norm) and Holmes Osborne (Soloman)

Mary Horowitz creates crossword puzzles for a local newspaper in Sacramento. She is sent on a blind date by her parents with Steve, a cameraman for a local TV news network, and falls in love with him. Steve, on the other hand, thinks she is crazy and when she loses her job and starts to chase after him across the country he becomes convinced that she is a homicidal stalker.


‘All About Steve’ is a romcom, a kind of updated screwball comedy and was produced by Sandra Bullock who, it must be noted, is rather obviously too old for the lead role. It has a dismal 6% rotten rating at Rotten Tomatoes from 102 reviews and they describe it as “an oddly creepy, sour film, featuring a heroine so desperate and peculiar that audiences may be more likely to pity than root for her.” That is a very harsh summary of the film, although not altogether undeserved. Mary is a peculiar character and for much of the film a decidedly irritating one.

There are all sorts of things wrong with this film and it seems to send out a whole mixture of conflicting messages. It also succumbs to high levels of cheesy schmaltz in the closing scenes, albeit in a strangely idiosyncratic way, that will be hard to stomach by anyone with a cynical bent. This is undoubtedly destined to be to cited as another example of Sandra Bullock making very poor film choices, not that it seems to have any long-term adverse impact on her popularity – she has recently been back at No.1 in the US box office with ‘The Proposal’, which grossed nearly $300 million worldwide, and ‘The Blind Side’, which has so far grossed over $130 million in the domestic market.

I am fully aware of all the faults with ‘All About Steve’. I could easily pick numerous holes in it and pinpoint myriad reasons why it’s offensive. However, I would be lying if I claimed not to have ended up quite enjoying it. Despite my better judgement it occasionally made me laugh.

‘All About Steve’ grossed just under $34 million at the US box office.

Review posted 10 November 2009


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