Hollywood Hues

Loud family drama
Ervell E. Menezes finds Because I Said So full of slapstick and gross humour
Diane Keaton and Mandy Moore in Because I said so
Diane Keaton and Mandy Moore in Because I said so

When does a child really grow up? Well, that depends on the parent-child relationship. But if itís a mother-daughter case, the mother could feel itís never and always wants to call the shots. Reason never comes into the picture. Because I Said So is precisely this phenomenon an intrusive, nosey mother Daphne Wilder (Diane Keaton) will not let her pretty, youngest daughter Milly (Mandy Moore) have her own space, aided of course by the modern menace of the cellphone.

That Milly has two other siblings Maggie (Lauren Graham) and Mae (Piper Perabo) makes it a womanís world and the yak-yaking never stops. Whether they are shopping or sampling underwear or comparing notes, it is a constant patter. But it is Milly who bears the brunt of the obsessive, control-freak mother who is hell bent on getting her married. Could it be a case of transference because of Daphneís long-standing single status?

In the first 30 minutes there is so much dialogue that one is wishing, waiting and wanting to hear the sound of silence. And one wonders how much more can one take of the subject. Maybe scriptwriters Karen Leigh Hopkins and Jessie Nelson arenít aware of this verbosity and what it does to the decibel level and director Michael Lehman isnít able to exercise any control.

Hence, we have to suffer a typical American family drama with slapstick and gross humour. Milly has to choose between Jason (Tom Everett Scott) and Johnny (Gabrielle Macht) and her mother is no help at all. That Johnny has a precocious son is almost the last straw and could easily have been avoided but Johnnyís dad Joe (Steven Collins) has a positive part to play.

No prizes for guessing correctly but one if only he could have landed earlier? It is therefore 110 minutes of dubious entertainment with Diane Keaton in easily the worst performance of her career and though Mandy Moore is a wee bit better the situations are predictable, the humour weak and the expectations nil. When Daphne has larengitis, there is a bit of relief but that doesnít last long and the catchline describing her as "sheís just a normal, overprotective, overbearing over-the-top mother" is a gross understatement.

The best cameo is probably that of Mae, Millyís little second sister played by Piper Perabo. Not only does she have a few good lines but she speaks the least and stands out like a beacon in the verbose darkness of Because I Said So. Need one say more.