All About Steve

Sandra Bullock tends to play a hard-nosed, do-right tough gal in most of her more notable parts, like in The Net, Miss Congeniality & The Blind Side (Maybe Speed as well?). All About Steve is a complete departure from that “likable” type character, into a “I want terrible things to happen to this annoying person” role. I guess if you look at it like that, it’s a truly outstanding (Dare I say award-worthy) performance.

Ms. Bullock becomes Mary Magdeline Horowitz, the go-getting crossword puzzle maven for a Sacramento newspaper (with a name like that, you know her parents hated her from birth). She’s just your everyday, awkward, obsessive-compulsive 40-something with a completely reconstructed face who lives at home with her parents and struts about town in bright red leather high-heeled boots.

Sandy's Red Boots

(Her outfit matches her obnoxiousness)

So after a bunch of middle school kids make fun of her, she sets herself up on a bind date with Steve (Bradley Cooper), a cameraman for one of those crazy cable news outlets. So, a good looking dude gives her a little bit of attention and she instantly & completely falls head over heels in love with him, because she’s just a touch desperate. She jumps all over him like a hungry lioness on a gazelle, which of course freaks him out and he quickly slips out of her grasp.

OR SO HE THOUGHT! (tee-hee)

Mary is an obsessive lady with a very powerful weapon – a newspaper crossword – at her disposal. So she writes a puzzle…

– wait for it –

ALL ABOUT STEVE!

That pisses of all of Sacramento, who has no clue who the hell Steve is, so she gets fired. No longer tethered to her job, she is free to stalk her man-prey across the Southwest as Steve goes on assignment with the equally annoying Thomas Heydon Church (the only THC I can’t stand the sight of). 

THC

(Annoying the world since Wings)

Over the next hour or so we get subjected to a bunch of jokes about how painfully annoying Mary is (so much that she gets thrown off a Greyhound bus), we get a scathing, yet goofy critique of the 24-7 network news machine (Quick! Get the scoop on the 3-Legged Baby!) and we get the train wreck that ensues when these two unstoppable forces collide over and over again, which is perpetuated by THC who encourages Mary to keep chasing Steve. If that wasn’t bad enough: GERALDO!

The most memorable scene is, after a gaggle of deaf children fall into a caved in mine (it’s ok to laugh at that, right?), Mary charges after her man and falls right into the pit. “Whoops, I didn’t see that gigantic gash in the earth right in front of me, AHHH!”

The rather large crowd gathered at the scene to gawk at the unfortunate deaf kids then turns on THC, convinced all of his meddling has landed Mary in the hole. They may be right in that fact, but they paint Mary as some sort of saintly figure (when really SHE should be the one at fault for all of this in the first place).

She MacGuyver’s her way out of the hole, saving herself, a forgotten deaf child & THC who stupidly dives in to saver her. Redemption for the woman who annoyed, then charmed, a nation.

Sandy

(America’s Sweet Fart)

Maybe I’d feel different about All About Steve if it starred Jack McBrayer, playing a Kenneth Parcell lovable idiot type, who chases after Steve. It would have been much more funnier to me, but this movie wasn’t made for me. It was made for people like Mary Magdeline Horowitz (which I hope, for all our sakes, there aren’t many of them out there). 

2 1/2 out of 3 Cinnamon Bears. Mostly awful with a chance of romance.

Interesting post-script via IMDb: Sandra Bullock won the “Razzie” award for Worst Actress and actually showed up to the annual Razzies event to claim her prize. She brought a wagon full of DVDs of this film for the 300 attendees and asked them to watch or re-watch the movie. If in fact the audience decided she was NOT the Worst Actress and changed their minds, Bullock promised to come back to the Razzies next year, turn back in her award and buy drinks for everybody.

At least she’s got a sense of humor about it. Kudos.