Maybe it was the opening of the movie that made me watch?the images of typical Valentine’s Day gifts being thrown into a dumpster. Maybe it was the prospect of watching a movie that billed French Stewart first. Maybe it was the way the title was cheesily written in large, cursive letters on the screen. Maybe it was the fact that the title of the movie was Love Stinks. Against all better judgment, I was compelled, almost the way one must look at a train wreck, to watch this movie.
If one is unfamilar with the name French Stewart, he needs only to think back to the comic stylings that made him the famous squinty guy on Third Rock from the Sun, or the whismical deptness that French (I’m sure his friends just call him “French”) shows in collect call comercials.
The movie also stars Bridget Wilson as Chelsea, and basically, no one has ever heard of her. In fact, it took about an hour of watching her before my apartment mate finally realized she was the teacher in Billy Madison. There is also something strange about her, which we (the audience gathered in our Village B apartment) finally dubbed as her eyes being weird. (There is a lot of time for your mind to wander in this movie without worrying that you will miss a crucial piece of the plot.)
The movie also stars Tyra Banks (who is the best thing in this movie, and if you think about that, it gets scary) and Bill Bellamy who plays friends of Chelsea and French, the two newlyweds. Bill Bellamy also serves as the omniscent narrator of the movie (and if you think about how he is a side character and the narrator at the same time, it just makes no sense).
The basic plot of the movie is this: Chelsea and Seth (Stewart) start dating after they meet at Tyra and Bill’s wedding (they have other names in the movie, but hey, it doesn’t matter). Everything seems like it is going well. Chelsea is a fox and does a killer Elvis impersonation. But the only problem is that she is a pyschopath. She weasels her way into living with Seth, and he bears her annoyingness because she’s good in the sack.
Chelsea confides in Tyra that she wants to marry Seth. Tyra gives her words of wisdom of how to make her dream of matrimony come true: “Drop him hints, spoil him rotten and screw his brains out.” Again, be warned, Tyra is the best part of the movie.
Valentine’s Day comes around and Chelsea is expecting Seth to pop the question. He doesn’t. They fight and make a deal. If all is going well, a year from now, on Valentine’s Day, Seth will propose. (You are supposed to think that Chelsea is pathetic by this point.)
The year comes around, and no proposal. Chelsea and Seth break up, and she sews him for palimony (which is like alimony, but for people who just live together?suspend the disbelief here, you are supposed to think that everyone in California is litigation happy). She also won’t move out, because according to her, she gets her phone calls and mail at Seth’s house which makes it her legal residence.
The antics that follow spell h-i-l-a-r-i-t-y. He makes her cat bungee jump, she puts nair in his shampoo. Honestly, you do start laughing … but then you question your sanity.
You will walk away from the movie with some questions. Why does Tiffani-Amber Theissen have such a bit part? Why does Seth have a day job of writing a sitcom that really isn’t funny? Why are all the other characters in the movie laughing at this sitcom as if it were funny? Is this a deeper social comentary on sitcoms? Why did I just watch a movie that had French Stewart in it?
So the next time you are sitting in your room, flipping through the channels, keep a look out for Love Stinks. It is in heavy rotation on HBO right now, and thanks to our campus cable, we get three mutations of HBO. Granted it is a horrible movie. But you want to watch. Because you aren’t going to hear witty banter like “Do you want me to leave this lawsuit on your desk?” “No. Leave it up your ass” anywhere else.
Most importantly, the movie teaches a lesson. Next time when you are getting kissy-face with some guy or girl, remember what happened to Chelsea and Seth. Love stinks. But for a grade B movie, this smells pretty good.