Fools Rush In (1997)

(On TV, March 2016) One of the underrated aspects of movie watching as a hobby is the time-travelling (or perhaps more accurately time-fixing) aspect of seeing actors at variable times throughout lengthy careers. The case in point here is Salma Hayek, a remarkably beautiful woman at any age, as proven by films such as 1997’s Fools Rush In. She’s the best and most distinctive thing about this relatively humdrum romantic comedy. Matthew Perry (also looking incredibly young) also stars in this tale of cross-cultural love set in Mexico and Las Vegas. It’s not much of a film at the story level: much of the plot is intensely familiar when it doesn’t suffer from severe tone problems. (I’m surprised to have to repeat this, but: Abortion plot points don’t belong in romantic comedies. Never ever.) Hayek, on the other hand, gives a spirited performance as a Mexican signer trying to find success north of the border, only to find herself inextricably linked to an American man after an impulsive fling. Fools Rush In does have its share of issues over tone: the premise doesn’t lend itself to consequence-free laughter, and elements of the third act get dark, clashing with the somewhat more ridiculous elements of the plotting. It’s not, in other words, much of a success. But as an opportunity to see younger Hayek and Perry riff off each other, it’s worth a look for fans of those actors.

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