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Underwhelming 'Head Over Heels'

By Desson Howe
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, February 2, 2001

   


    'Head Over Heels' Tomiko Fraser, Shalom Harlow, Ivana Milicevic, China Chow, Sarah O'Hare and Monica Potter in "Head Over Heels." (Universal)
Occasionally, a humorous line or funny sight gag surfaces in "Head Over Heels," a romantic comedy starring Freddie Prinze Jr. and Monica Potter. The jokes usually have something to do with anorexia, narcissism or obsessive-compulsive desire for cleanliness among the four models who figure as comic relief in the story.

There are some other positive things to identify: Prinze and Potter are likable and good-natured performers, for instance. And here's my favorite part: It's only 87 minutes long. But for the most part, this movie is just another bland, fair-to-middling vehicle for two emerging, fledgling stars.

Potter plays Amanda, a single girl who's shy, a little goofy and who just got betrayed by her boyfriend. She moves into an East Side apartment in New York City with four fabulous, willowy models (Shalom Harlow, Ivana Milicevic, Sarah O'Hare and Tomiko Fraser), who seem to be umbilically connected to one another, switching skimpy T-shirts, avoiding food and dirty rooms, listening to the slavering admiration of male admirers and exchanging airhead pitter-patter.

Amanda falls in love with a handsome, kinda cross-eyed fella named Jim Winston (Prinze), who's always walking a Great Dane that always knocks her over. The filmmakers find this idea so adorable, poor Amanda gets knocked over a good three or four times during the movie. They also make Amanda collapse – literally go weak in the knees – whenever she sets eyes on Jim (usually after picking herself up from the dog attack). Another adorable touch.

Amanda, who enlists the help of her vacuous roommates, becomes convinced that Jim's a killer when she apparently witnesses Jim (in silhouette) killing a woman with a baseball bat. The rest of the movie is consumed with her half-believing he's a killer but being unable to resist his charm, while those models pursue their own investigation.

For cheap measure, the movie throws in some pretty gross stuff involving the models crowded into the stall of a men's room, two plumbers and a disgusting explosion.

I'm going to stop now, in order to anticipate this conversation at Blockbuster Video in the not-too-distant future, as two teenage renters come upon . . .

"Hey, 'Head over Heels.' What's this?"

"That's the one with Freddie Prinze Jr."

"Who's he?"

"Remember? He was in 'I Know What You Did Last Summer' and 'She's All That' and 'Boys and Girls.' And remember, People magazine voted him . . ."

"Oh yeah, one of the Most Beautiful Whatever. Yeah, he's cute. Wait, isn't he dating Sarah Michelle Gellar?"

"That was, like, a year ago, or something. No way would they be dating still."

"And what about Monica Potter?"

"Well, she was in 'Patch Adams' and she puts, like, castor oil on her eyelashes and eyebrows to make them thicker."

"Gross."

"And Freddie Prinze, like, plucks his eyebrows every day, he says."

"No way."

"For sure. I read it on the Internet."

"Okay, let's get it. I want to see if that's really true about her eyebrows."

That would be as good a reason as any.

"Head Over Heels" (PG-13, 87 minutes) – Contains gross-out humor, sexual scenes and nudity.

 

Copyright 2001 The Washington Post Company


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