Fool’s Gold (Warner Bros. Pictures, PG-13)

film_fools-gold_sm.jpgWhen you know the audience should be laughing but isn’t, it can be painful to sit through.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You know a film’s in trouble when the most interesting part of the presentation is the two old ladies making fun of one of the stars as the lights come up afterward.

OLD LADY ONE [sizing up Kate Hudson]: "My God, she doesn’t have any boobies at all, does she?"

OLD LADY TWO: "Nope, she’s completely flat-chested."

Yes, my friends, Fool’s Gold is that good.

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Finn (Matthew McConaughey) and Tess (Kate Hudson) used to love each other. So much, in fact, that they spent eight years as husband and wife, traveling the globe and searching for lost Spanish treasure. Now, though, Tess is fed up with Finn’s flighty surfer-dude-treasure-hunting ways. So, she divorces him, but without any money she’s stuck as a steward on Nigel Honeycutt’s (Donald Sutherland) yacht. Meanwhile, Finn scrapes together funds to continue his quest for the missing riches and gets Tess embroiled in his hunt once again.

I was really, really hoping that Fool’s Gold would surprise me. That if it turned out to not be funny, it would at least be exciting in a Romancing the Stone kind of way. I could not have been further off the mark. This movie has nothing going for it but the brief sight of McConaughey’s bare ass.

Sure, Hudson and McConaughey look good together, but there is absolutely no chemistry between them. Even when they’re making out, it’s boring. Every joke but one (about a non-existent midget) falls flat. And let me tell you, when you know the audience should be laughing but isn’t, it can be painful to sit through.

Also? All the African-American men in the cast are murderers, thieves, and thugs. While I have also had enough of the "magical black man" in movies like Bruce Almighty where the black people are good because, well, they’re otherworldly, I cannot believe the Fool’s Gold casting people thought this was OK.

The thing that tops it all off is that Fool’s Gold is stupendously tedious. At one point, Tess and Finn are explaining to Honeycutt and his daughter how they narrowed down the location of the treasure. It was so dull I honestly started to fall asleep. This scene, which was entirely too long, by the way, was made all the more unbelievable by the increasing interest of the people they were talking to. Instead of this scene being an aberration, the whole film plays that way: too talky, too slow, too dull, too actionless.

How in the world did they get Sutherland in this thing? I hate it when the elder statesmen of acting slum it. And McConaughey—man, remember when he was supposed to be the next big thing? Obviously he’s given up on any sort of creative growth. I mean, can we get him to play a lawyer or dentist or concert violinist? Of course not, and who would believe him capable of such a thing now anyway? | Adrienne Jones

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