In recent memory, no film genre seems to have produced as many bad movies as the romantic comedy. For every smart and well-done take on the tried and true boy and girl fall in love story, there are dozens upon dozens of half-hearted attempts which end up in the vast wasteland of mediocre movies. At the center of this trend is Freddie Prinze Jr., an actor with boyish good looks and not much else. Prinze”s goofy, dorky delivery is stale and tiresome and yet he continues to find work, spinning the same story over and over again.
“Head Over Heels” is Prinze”s latest stab at his target audience and they should be just tickled by his performance that is if they like seeing Prinze spend time stinking up the bathroom while several other girls hide in the shower, close to suffocation due to the stench. Yes, Prinze seems to chuck his “ain”t he cute” persona out the window for at least a few minutes to give the film a good shot of bathroom humor in the form of his hulking dump.
However one bathroom scene is not enough for “Head Over Heels.” The film also treats us to the aforementioned girls hiding out in a bathroom stall when feces starts spurting out of the toilet Old Faithful style. Somehow this moment is symbolic of the movie as a whole. Continuing its appeals to the least common denominator, “Head Over Heels” also includes a running gag in which a huge dog knocks people down and then attempts to hump them once he has them pinned on the ground. Using animals for laughs is one of the oldest and easiest tricks in the book, so it should come as no surprise that it pops up throughout the film.
Believe it or not, there”s a story here and it centers on Amanda (Monica Potter), a girl waiting for Mr. Right to pop into her life. Amanda lives with four supermodels (don”t ask) and the five spend much of their time gazing out their window into Jim”s (Prinze) apartment. Then one night, Amanda thinks she sees Jim kill someone and wham, bam, slam, the film takes off as a “Rear Window” wannabe for the next 45 minutes. Once this bit runs it course, the story makes a quick U-turn and changes over to a FBI game of cat and mouse in what is nothing more than a desperate attempt by the makers to stretch the film out to a 90 minute running time.
With Prinze leading the way, the cast is awful across the board. Potter, who lacks the charm or the talent to be a leading lady is the perfect partner for Prinze. There isn”t even the slightest hint of chemistry or connection between the two performers, as they both fail in their attempts to convince us that their characters are truly in love. Prinze and Potter stumble along in the scenes that they share together, with neither having the chops to rise above their lame material. Instead, they fit right in.
One of the more amazing things about the movie is the fact that it was directed by Mark S. Waters, whose last film was the creepy and promising “House of Yes.” It”s no coincidence that “House of Yes” had Prinze in a supporting role where he was at least bearable onscreen, and this probably led Waters to cast the actor here. It”s disappointing to see a director with so much potential waste it on such an uninspired film.
Really, everyone who was involved with “Head Over Heels” in any capacity deserves to be packed into a bathroom stall and subjected to the feces rush. Maybe then, we”ll be spared of seeing garbage like this anytime soon.