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20th Century Fox presents
She's the One (1996)

"You know, in a relationship, you got ups, downs. Sometimes you do it a lot, you know, like you're doing. Other times, you know, not at all. The down cycle."
- Francis Fitzpatrick (Mike McGlone)

Review By: Justin Stephen   
Published: October 12, 2000

Stars: Edward Burns, Mike McGlone, John Mahoney
Other Stars: Jennifer Anniston, Maxine Bahns, Cameron Diaz, Amanda Peet, Malachy McCourt
Director: Edward Burns

MPAA Rating: R for language, including sex-related dialogue
Run Time: 01h:36m:00s
Release Date: October 03, 2000
UPC: 024543005711
Genre: romantic comedy

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer

DVD Review

Writer/director/actor Edward Burns made quite a name for himself with his first feature film, 1995's The Brothers McMullen, which was the toast of that year's Sundance Film Festival. With this initial success came additional attention from financial backers and bigger-name Hollywood actors and 1996's She's the One was the immediate result.

She's the One is the story of two Irish-American brothers, different in their outlooks on life and so combative with one another, it's amazing that they spend time together at all. Mickey (Burns) is a cab driver, the "only English-speaking white guy driving a cab in New York," as another character puts it, seemingly content with his low station in life. Three years earlier, he came home to find his fiancée in bed with another man and has never quite recovered. Francis (McGlone), on the other hand, is an extremely successful Wall Street power player with a nice apartment, a chauffeur, and a beautiful wife (Anniston) with whom he never has sex and a beautiful mistress (Diaz) with whom he does. As different as the two brothers are, both are very much the logical offspring of their domineering father (Mahoney), who spends as much time as possible on his fishing boat. Their mother is oft-mentioned but never seen.

As the film opens, Mickey's life changes suddenly. In a rather contrived twist of fate, he agrees to drive an attractive young woman, Hope, down to New Orleans because she is afraid of flying. Along the way, they fall in love, and are married 24-hours later. The repercussions of this impulsive act become painfully obvious once Mickey returns to New York. His father is scandalized, immediately assuming that his new wife must either be pregnant or an illegal alien using him for a green card. His brother is incensed because he didn't get a chance to be his brother's best man. Mickey himself is flabbergasted when his new wife drops a bombshell: she's moving to Paris in a month and wants him to come with her.

Oh, did I mention that Francis's mistress also happens to be Mickey's old fiancée, the woman who broke his heart, and that Francis hasn't told him yet?

A film like She's the One, devoid of car chases, fantastic explosions, and chest-bursting aliens, lives or dies with its screenplay. Alas, here it ends up being both the best thing and the worst thing about this film. Many of the plot twists are far too contrived; the manner in which Mickey meets his wife is an element best left to unrealistic romantic fantasies. Much of the sympathy we are able to feel for his new bride is squelched by the unfair, and all-too-casual manner in which she drops the Paris bomb on him. Lastly, the character that Burns has written for McGlone (Francis) is just too over-the-top and hateful to be realistic. On the other hand, the dialogue, excepting much of Francis' bromidic parleys, tends to be fresh, clever, and fun.

Burns assembled a pretty good cast for this outing. As is usual in his films, he plays the leading role. McGlone and Bahns are two The Brothers McMullen alums that return to work with him. McGlone (The Bone Collector), despite some of the insipid dialogue he is compelled to deliver, breathes real life into Francis. Bahns, on the other hand, is quite natural and pleasing in many scenes but really seemed to struggle when asked to display strong emotions on camera. With the notable task of delivering much of the film's best dialogue, John Mahoney (Say Anything, TV's Frasier) plays the domineering and suspicious Irish father. Hollywood mega-star Cameron Diaz plays Heather, Francis' mistress and Mickey's ex-fiancée. In her first major film role, Friends cast member Jennifer Anniston plays Renee, Francis' wife. Lastly, Malachy McCourt (brother of Angela's Ashes author Frank) plays Francis' sage-like chauffeur.

For those of us who have also seen The Brothers McMullen, drawing comparisons between the two films is virtually impossible to avoid. In such a comparison, She's the One easily loses out. However, there is still much to enjoy here. It does succeed at being genuinely funny on numerous occasions; in particular, much of the banter between the two brothers and their father is uproarious. The film has a fresh air about it that carries it right along and makes it quite enjoyable, assuming you can avoid thinking about it too much.

Rating for Style: B-
Rating for Substance: B


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyesno

Image Transfer Review: She's the One features a relatively nice anamorphic transfer in the film's original aspect ratio of 1.85:1. A comparable full-frame version is available on the flip side of the disc. It does suffer from some minor flaws. Colors are rich and full, albeit just a tad dark. Several scenes suffer from a lack of crispness. Black levels are mediocre. None of these faults, however, detract from a solid visual experience.

Image Transfer Grade: B+


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0English, Frenchyes
Dolby Digital

Audio Transfer Review: She's the One features a very good Dolby Digital 4.0 track. Atmospheric sound, especially from the front soundstage, is very full. The surround channel is well utilized both to bolster the atmospherics and to fill out Tom Petty's original music. Your subwoofer will sit idle for most of the film but the content provides little use for it.

This disc also features a 2.0 Dolby surround track in both English and French. This transfer is solid but really pales in comparison to the 4.0 track in the atmosphere it delivers and in the crispness of the sound.

Audio Transfer Grade: A


Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 24 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
1 Featurette(s)
1 Feature/Episode commentary by Edward Burns
Packaging: Alpha
1 Disc
2-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single
Layers Switch: n/a

Extra Extras:
  1. Music Video, "Walls" by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
  2. DVD-ROM content, web links to Edward Burns
Extras Review: She's the One comes with a pretty good batch of extras. The highlight of this material is a commentary track with Edward Burns. I give the track high marks for quality and low marks for quantity. Burns provides lots of interesting behind-the-scenes comments about this specific film as well as several interesting comments about low-budget filmmaking. He is also extremely candid throughout, which really adds to the commentary's entertainment value. Unfortunately, there is not enough material to remotely fill the runtime. Burns only talks about half the time, if that. I have always preferred commentary tracks which feature multiple narrators for this reason.

The included 8-minute featurette is pretty standard stuff, with narration over scenes from the films, interview snippets, and production footage. A Tom Petty music video for his song "Walls", the original trailer, and DVD-ROM web links round out the extra material.

Extras Grade: B


Final Comments

A sophomoric yet enjoyable misstep from the writer/director/actor who brought us the low-budget favorite The Brothers McMullen.


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