Review: ‘He Said She Said’

He Said She Said is two awful films rolled into one. The potentially provocative idea of having a male and female director take separate but interlocking looks at the same love story fizzles here in the hokiest, most contrived telling imaginable. Co-directors Ken Kwapis and Marisa Silver, who got engaged during the production, have turned out segments that differ slightly in tone, pacing and lighting styles, but are equal in banality and obviousness.

He Said She Said is two awful films rolled into one. The potentially provocative idea of having a male and female director take separate but interlocking looks at the same love story fizzles here in the hokiest, most contrived telling imaginable. Co-directors Ken Kwapis and Marisa Silver, who got engaged during the production, have turned out segments that differ slightly in tone, pacing and lighting styles, but are equal in banality and obviousness.

Sitcom slickness of the enterprise is established at the outset, as TV news commentator team of Kevin Bacon and Elizabeth Perkins apparently breaks up on the air when she beans him with a coffee cup. Pushed along at a frantic, wearying pace, initial hour is devoted to mirthless jokes about the young hotshot’s womanizing, fear of marriage and need to feel professionally superior.

Kwapis’ high gloss garishness and antic staging contrasts with the slower, more subdued approach of Silver, who, in covering the same ground, underlines a sense of romance and optimism in Perkins’ character to which the male has been oblivious.

What’s shocking is how impersonal and unfelt the film is on both sides. On screen virtually throughout, Bacon and Perkins are unable to escape this collision. Supporting performances are uniformly broad and one-dimensional.

He Said She Said

Production

Paramount. Dir Ken Kwapis, Marisa Silver; Producer Frank Mancuso Jr; Screenplay Brian Hohlfeld; Camera Stephen H. Burum; Editor Sidney Levin, Rick Sparr; Music Miles Goodman Art Dir Michael Corenblith

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1991. Running time: 115 MIN.

With

Kevin Bacon Elizabeth Perkins Nathan Lane Anthony LaPaglia Sharon Stone Stanley Anderson
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