Length: 87 minutes
Director: Jason Bloom (Bio-Dome; “Veronica Mars”)
Writers: Marc Sedaka (“The King of Queens”) and Steve Bloom (The Sure Thing; James and the Giant Peach)
Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd, Christine Taylor, Sarah Silverman, Tobin Bell, Tamara Mello, Larry Drake, Jack McGee
I have been meaning to watch “Overnight Delivery” for years. Mainly due to the fact that I’ve heard Kevin Smith did the final, uncredited re-write of the script. Smith maintains that they kept very little of his work in the final product (the beginning and ending sequences particularly), but Smith fans will be able to pick up on his presence throughout the flick. This was, of course, during his prime as a writer. Many of you know I have a love/hate deal with him. I watch all of his movies, read all of his books, and yet I still bitch about his last few movies (all of them since “Dogma”). I contribute this to the fact that the original “Clerks” is one of my all time favorites and was a huge influence on me as a writer. Smith apparently penned the re-write after he wrote my second favorite film of his, “Chasing Amy”. Don’t get your hopes up though, even though some of Smith’s wittiness shines through at times, it seems more likely that Marc Sedaka’s (one of the writers for TV’s “King of Queens”) material made it more into the final product. This is strictly sitcom on the screen (or in this case straight to video). After all, this was the follow up film for director Jason Bloom after his “classic” “Bio-Dome”. The plot bears a strong resemblance to the not yet conceived “Road Trip” and “Forces of Nature”. Whipped college undergrad Wyatt Trips (Paul Rudd) has been trying to get into the pants of his high school sweetheart Kimberly (Christine Taylor- aka Mrs. Ben Stiller) for years. They are both at separate colleges and one night he phones her and is informed by her roommate (Tamara Mello) that Kim has been making a lot of noise recently with the “Ricker”. Taunted further by his roommates that he has been duped, they visit a local strip club and meet fellow undergrad Ivy Miller (Reese Witherspoon). A drunken Wyatt stands up for Ivy in an altercation and after hearing his sob story, she convinces him to send Kim a photo of them in a provocative position- along with a nasty note and a condom filled with spit. They mail it overnight delivery and Wyatt goes home feeling vindicated. Unfortunately, there’s a message on his answering machine from Kim explaining that the “Ricker” is actually her friend’s dog that she is dog sitting. Uh-oh! Misunderstanding after misunderstanding occur as Wyatt and Ivy take a road trip to try to prevent the package from reaching Kim by 10:00am the following morning. Yes, it is sitcom material, but it didn’t have to be like this. “Road Trip”, despite some juvenile tendencies did work, and both of the future stars Witherspoon and Rudd have charisma to spare. Yet, the movie opts for easy jokes instead of funny jokes. It goes from believable and getting some chuckles to scenes such as Rudd hanging from the back of a speeding mail delivery van with a fire extinguisher blowing everywhere while Witherspoon follows behind in her car begging him to jump. It doesn’t exactly take a brain to figure out where most romantic comedies are heading, but you know where this one is going right from the beginning. I’m interested in reading Smith’s actual script in it’s entirety. It may not have made for a much better movie, but it sure would have been more entertaining.
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