Slapstick comes unstuck

Ervell E. Menezes

The location is New York touted as the world’s busiest city, the players two youngsters whose lives come together by sheer chance. But when they kiss they exchange luck. Well, it is only this silly premise that Just My Luck is based upon.

Lindsay Lohan and Chris Pine in Just My Luck
Lindsay Lohan and Chris Pine in Just My Luck

He is Jake (Chris Pine), a bumbling, blundering musician, a cross between Jerry Lewis and Peter Sellers but much worse than either of them. And the slapstick that begins with him stays on through most of the film much to the detriment of what might have passed for humour.

She is Ashley Albright (Lindsay Lohan), a successful accounts executive at a public relations firm and whatever she touches turns to gold. It is a good mix of talent and luck. But this changes dramatically after her run-in with the aspiring musician who wants a break for his McFly band. It is record Mogul Damon Phillips who could give him that much-needed break.

That these two should meet, part and meet again is what the film is all about. But what a jolly good waste of time. Between shreds of music (far from catchy), weak humour and some totally forgettable incidents the film plods along thanks to a poor script. Even director Donald Petrie, whose Miss Congeniality (starring Sandra Bullock) is not as bad as this, is all at sea in this film.

"When one door closes, two others open," one of Ashley’s colleagues tells her but it is of little comfort to the young woman who virtually becomes a pathetic disaster and doesn’t seem to care about it. Well, the triteness of the subject is further drowned in needles slapstick. Has Hollywood run out of scriptwriters to stoop so low ?

Just My Luck never really takes off but is later bogged down in the realms of inanity. Samaire Armstrong and Bree Tuner, as Ashley’s pals, provide the only sparks of life (they have good lines, too) in this otherwise listless film.

Lindsay Lohan may be considered a promising young actress but here the corny situation doesn’t give her much scope. As for Chris Pine, he is as anonymous as one of New York’s fatted cops. The climax is of course at the Grand Central station (how they love to glorify these institutions) but is more of a damp squib but in all fairness one must say it is in keeping or quite consistent with the rest of the film.

So, this is a clear no-no. It’s just our luck as critics that we had to suffer though this piffle.