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HE SAID, SHE SAID

Review by Gordon Justesen

Stars: Kevin Bacon, Elizabeth Perkins, Sharon Stone
Directors: Ken Kwapis, Marisa Silver
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Surround, French Dolby Surround
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1
Studio: Paramount
Features: Theatrical Trailer, Commentary
Length: 115 Minutes
Release Date: October 23, 2001

“May I take your order?”

“I will start with…monogamy.”

“And for you, sir”

“Just a side order of sex please.”

Film ***

The forever clashing of the opposite sexes is perfectly illustrated in He Said, She Said, which does something very unique with its storytelling. Reflecting its title, the movie reflects on two stories on a struggling relationship in just under two hours time, and both stories offer an amusing opportunity to hear alternate sides of what went on from both the male and female perspective. What makes it an even more intriguing is that film is credited with two directors, who just happen to be a man and a woman. Ken Kwapis and Marisa Silver, a real life couple, decided to create a film based in part on how their relationship came together. Even more intriguing is that Kwapis is credited with directing solely the man’s side of the story, while Silver is credited with directing the female’s side. 

The movie stars Kevin Bacon and Elizabeth Perkins as Dan and Lorie, who start out as competitive reporters for the Baltimore Sun. Conflicting on various issues, with Dan being an opened conservative and Laurie a liberal, their latest feature becomes a major success. Following this breakthrough, the two are asked to take their conflicting views to television. Their new talk show, titled “He Said, She Said” is an instant success, especially during one airing where Laurie attacks Dan by throwing a coffee cup straight to the forehead. What ever caused this dispute to ever occur between this two? Dan then explains the past events from his perspective to the show’s director (Nathan Lane), and so begins his side of the story, which then leads back to the incident on the talk show, and we are then lead into Laurie’s side of the relationship.

Along the way, in both stories, we find out how these two opposing views came to form a most unexpected romance. Dan, at the beginning, is a womanizer, occasionally meeting up with the sultry Linda (Sharon Stone), for one night stands. It’s through a night of dinner and dancing that Dan truly senses Laurie as a the one for him. The two then have the usual ups and downs, but not quite like their current scuffle, and like many romantic comedies, you can pretty much tell how the movie will end.

Nonetheless, He Said, She Said is a welcome piece of likeable, light fare. The chemistry between Bacon and Perkins is believable and very much enjoyable, and it’s what makes the viewing of the movie all the more terrific. What really gives the movie its deserved credit is the two-points-of-view story structure, which is a kind most movies, let alone romantic comedies rarely ever get. That alone gives the movie a dose of originality.

Video ***

Paramount delivers an all around impressive look to this ten-year-old movie. The opening Paramount logo, which was unusually grainy, caused me to have my doubts, but what followed was a clean and rich presentation. Aside from a few instances of softness, which is not that many to be truthful, the video transfer on the disc is a clear, sharp view, very much in the Paramount tradition.  

Audio **1/2

Mostly a dialogue oriented movie, the 5.1 audio presentation does what it can to be of high quality. The opening scenes suffer the most, where it seams that all sounds come from the front area, but it picks up slowly but surely throughout the presentation. By midpoint, the sound is much more improved all around.

Features **1/2

Featured is a trailer for the movie, and a neatly informative commentary track by Ken Kwapis, Marisa Silver, cinematographer Stephen H. Burum, and screenwriter Brian Hohlfeld.

Summary:

He Said, She Said is the perfect movie for any bickering couples (and I know there’s a lot of them out there) to watch. It also makes as an enjoyable romantic comedy for any dates to enjoy.