Forces of Nature


sleeping dog

This Sandra Bullock-Ben Affleck vehicle is boring, contrived and predictable.

Bullock plays a free spirit by the name of Sara Lewis who’s on her way to Savannah, Georgia to sell her Bagel Shop out from under her rotten second husband. Affleck plays Ben Holmes, a book jacket cover writer who’s on his way to Savannah to get married. Both are on the plane headed their separate ways when the plane crashes upon takeoff. Ben rescues Sara which now gives Sara the opportunity to latch onto Ben for the duration of the film as they both try to get to Savannah under dire conditions or poorly decided means. It’s one disaster after another. First the plane crash, then they get arrested because a third travel partner by the name of Vic turns out to be a drug dealer and his driver’s license is expired. Then there’s a train, then a bus and finally another car.

And through it all, we are made to sit through a horrible soundtrack.

Here’s what I mean by contrived: one scene that has them standing atop a train that’s stranded on a trestle high over an incredibly beautiful gorge and screaming at the top of their lungs like children. Still it has absolutely no charm and rather than serving as an indicator of Sara’s remarkable free spirit, it serves only to show the lunacy of the writer. I kept wondering why no one on the train was complaining or calling the conductor to get them down. Ben’s afraid of flying but standing several hundred feet on top of a train doesn’t appear to bother him too much.

Ben reluctantly agrees to pose as Sara’s husband when they get to Savannah so they can get the drop on the ex-husband who’s trying to cut his own deal on the Bagel Shop. Then, in order to hitch ride on a tour bus for seniors, they get caught up in their own lies after Ben is passed off, not only as a doctor, but a brain surgeon no less. It’s ridiculous.

Bullock is a good actor but every role seems to be the same, offering the same weepy eyed performance. Affleck, on the other hand, is hugely boring and does not have even a scintilla of the appeal that Bullock’s co-star Bill Pullman had in “While You Were Sleeping”.

In fact, the only really good scene in the film is the finale in which Ben must decide between Sara and his financ&eacute.

Lotta says it’s just not worth the effort.