Big names, little value in ‘Fool’s Gold’


One of the unique aspects of seeing a movie in theaters is watching the audience react to the film. People cheer, applaud and laugh when they enjoy a film. It’s a good indication of how popular a film is. It’s never a good sign when people take extended bathroom breaks. It’s never a good sign when people get up and leave halfway through the film. And it’s definitely not a good sign when you pay more attention to those in the theater than the film itself. But that was my experience with “Fool’s Gold,” the latest romantic comedy from director Andy Tennant (“Hitch”).

Benjamin Finnegan (Matthew McConaughey) is a down on his luck treasure hunter who has just been divorced by his treasure-hunting partner Tess Finnegan (Kate Hudson). Tess, who has a passion for history, is working as a stewardess for millionaire Nigel Honeycutt (Donald Sutherland) to save money to go back to school and earn her Ph.D. Believing that she’s rid herself of Benjamin forever, she continues to work aboard Honeycutt’s yacht. However, Benjamin has befriended Honeycutt and convinces not only him but Tess to go after a famous, missing treasure. However, an evil rapper by the name of Bigg Bunny (Kevin Hart) wants the treasure too, and Tess and Benjamin must work together to retrieve it before he does.

You would think any movie that features an evil rapper would be a cinematic classic. Sadly, “Gold” does not deliver. The story is really terrible, attempting to combine elements of action flicks, dark comedies, and romantic comedies. But instead of feeling innovative, it feels like Tennant watched a marathon of romantic comedies and copied bits and pieces from each.

The one recurring word throughout the above descriptions is comedy, although it would be misleading to call “Gold” such a film. The movie never once brought a smile to my face, let alone made me laugh. And I wasn’t alone — I heard maybe three chuckles throughout the entire film. There are more laughs in most movie trailers than all of “Gold.” If Tennant would have had a sharper focus, this could have stood a chance.

The characters proved to be a missed opportunity. Instead of taking standard formulas and giving them a fresh twist, Tennant relies on the same old cliché characters. Benjamin is the typical handsome, sweet-talking loser. But at least he has motivation — and a six-pack — so his flaws are justified. Tess is gorgeous and exceptionally smart, but she can’t catch a break and constantly allows men to walk all over her. But that’s OK, too, because she looks good in a bikini. The supporting cast is just as bad. Luckily, “Gold” isn’t a character study, it’s a romantic comedy., although Tennant forgot to add the romance. Not once during the film does it feel like there is any real tension between Tess and Benjamin, especially considering they’re recently divorced. It’s just not convincing, and I know the cast can do better.

I disagree with the stereotype that guys cannot enjoy a chick flick. I can enjoy any movie, regardless of genre, as long as it’s done right. Unfortunately, hardly anything in “Fool’s Gold” was. The only thing good about this disaster is the attractiveness of the two main stars, but it would be cheaper and easier to search for pictures of them online instead of wasting your time and money on this.