Forces of Nature - C
Viewed March 14, 1999 at State

One of the things that can wreck a romantic comedy is a total lack of chemistry between the two leads, and Forces of Nature has that problem. As the stiff and conservative Ben Holmes, rushing to get to Savannah[1] to marry Bridget (the criminally underused Maura Tierney) Ben Affleck gives a near-robotic performance[2].But his work, as bad as it is, is surpassed(?) by Sandra Bullock's grating attempt at a wild child, an easy contender for worst performance of the year. There's also the fact that this is *another* Hollywood film that wastes the comic talents of Steve Zahn.

I did, however mention in my little quickie that there's one great scene in the movie. It occurs at the end when Affleck finally gets to Savannah (spoilers ahoy!) and realizes that he does love Tierney. While Bronwen Hughes' direction in the rest of the film is often overblown, here she strikes just the right note; Ben tells Bridget just how much he loves her in an eye of dead calm, while in the background chaos ensues as the hurricane's winds play havoc with the traditional wedding filligree. What makes the scene work particularly well is while Affleck's monologue is delivered in real time, the background action is filmed in slow motion giving the scene a dreamy, romantic air -- something that is desperately missing from the rest of the movie, and it hurts me that such a superb scene is stuck in an otherwise tedious time-filler.

[1]Which is about to get hit by a hurricane. Anyone want to take bets that Marc Lawrence (the screenwriter) saw The Gingerbread Man while he was working on the script?
[2]Rather surprising, as Affleck showed a real flair for light comedy in Shakespeare in Love. Come to think of it, he's always been more impressive in small parts than leading roles..