‘Sometimes the people we meet change us forever…’
You know why nobody has ever asked the question ‘what if Planes, Trains and Automobiles were a romantic comedy?’ Because it’s a bad idea. And yet, here we are. Director Bronwen Hughes took that bad idea and turned it into a movie that is 105 minutes long. Even Ben Affleck and Sandra Bullock can’t carry a bad idea for that long…
Ben (Affleck) is travelling to his wedding in Georgia from New York City. After surviving a plane crash, Ben meets Sarah (Bullock) a fellow passenger and hot mess. Together, they endeavour to travel across the country in order to arrive at the wedding on time. All the while, Ben’s fiancé Bridget (Maura Tierney) waits patiently with her family for the groom to arrive.
An uninspiring premise then, and one that is badly executed by all involved. This movie looks like a piece of shit. All the colour is drained out of it, both literally and metaphorically. Marc Lawrence’s script is hackneyed and cliche, with the only saving grace being that I can’t call to mind another rom-com in which the two main leads are both irredeemable pieces of shit. By the end, it barely matters that one of our leads is left emotionally crushed and alone. The wedding that they have spent the whole movie discussing never happens. It’s a weird tonal shift that I suppose is actually better than the ending that they hint at before the denouement.
In the end Forces of Nature is a film for nobody. It’s badly made, its message is muddled and crucially, it’s not funny. If not for the undeniable star power of Bullock and Affleck there would be absolutely no reason for this film to exist. Watching it did spark an existential deep inside me, however, when I realised that I’ve never seen Niagra Falls or the northern lights, but I have now seen Forces of Nature. Life is cruel.