For some reason, movie studios don’t know when to call it quits when it comes to Sandra Bullock films, and if there was ever a time a Bullock film had to be put on the chopping block, this is it. Once again she has proven that the only requirement she feels is needed for acting is a wide smile full of dangerously large teeth and an extremely irritating demeanor.
After being fired from her job as a crossword puzzle creator for the local newspaper, Mary Horowitz (Bullock), who is constantly spouting off facts and bursting with energy, comes to believe that this turn of events is all part of her path towards becoming “normal.”
Having been on a blind date with a man whom she is certain is her newly found soul-mate, Mary becomes taken with the discovery that she can now fulfill his insincere request to travel alongside him as he shoots breaking news coverage for a cable news channel. To Mary’s surprise, Steve (Cooper) thinks that she is completely crazy and that her incessant chattering and perpetual dispensing of information is extremely unnerving. Hartman Hughes (Thomas Haden Church), Steve’s partner in news, jokingly encourages Mary’s desire to be with him, regardless of Steve’s wishes to the contrary and Mary’s obliviousness.
The plot of the film was extremely unoriginal, as it came off as a spoof combination of “The Silence of the Lambs” and “There’s Something About Mary,” Mary being the dorky stalker of Steve. With her newly acquired companions, Mary is forced to take shelter in a sewer pipe during a tornado, after which she quickly repairs the destroyed vehicle, and travels to Steve’s next news site. After this incident, she tumbles into a deep hole inside of the earth, much like the well that Buffalo Bill held his victims captive in in “The Silence of the Lambs.” The dull attempts at humor which are added to create a more comical outlook on the horrors of stalking only make the audience cringe with embarrassment.
Church plays a journalist trying to make anchor, and does a mediocre job of it as his part mostly consists of looking macho, stumbling over dimwitted mistakes and antagonizing his news partner. Cooper does a halfway decent job playing his part, which requires absolutely no acting talent, as all has to do is look good and deliver a few meager lines about how crazy Mary is. Sandra Bullock played her part as well as she’s played every other star role in every other recent film she’s been in, which can be good or bad depending on how you feel about her and her so-called talent.
The entire story line was completely bogus. Anyone who is being followed across the nation by a character like Mary Horowitz would steer clear and have good reason to be afraid. The use of stalking to create a story is not a witty idea, even if the stalker possesses an extensive vocabulary. The plot and action of the film was extremely dull and gave the impression that the film was created only to employ film’s headliners. The tumble into the deep abysmal pit in the earth which Mary experiences almost appears to be a metaphor for Bullock’s dwindling acting career.
“Steve’s” message about going to great lengths and sacrificing so much for something standing right in front of Mary’s face is hackneyed and unmoving. Once again Bullock has taken the easy road and both produced and starred in a film that is bound to please her target audience, but no one else. If the crossword puzzle that is “All About Steve” may seem impossible to solve, it’s because the clues aren’t very clever, nor are the answers.