Movie News and Reviews – Because I Said So

Chris Neefus

Because I Said So is the kind of in-flight film that makes you want a parachute. Stars Diane Keaton, Mandy Moore, Lauren Graham and Gabriel Macht (to name a few) have all proven themselves on the big and small screens and lend a credence to the film that is wildly misleading.

The film, directed by Michael Lehmann, is the story of a single mother and the divergent love lives of her three adult daughters. Moore plays the youngest and serially unattached daughter Milly while Keaton plays her opposite, a stereotypical neurotic mother, Daphne. With her other two daughters (Graham and Piper Perabo) happily married, Daphne seems to think the only option left is to place a frighteningly long personal ad on behalf of Milly and then screen all of her potential suitors without her knowledge. It sounds like the setup for a potentially entertaining caper, but Because I Said So is a mix of jarringly crude and mindless dialogue. It features a level of predictability never before witnessed onscreen. Not because the film is a chick flick; its idiocy and vulgarity most certainly transcend gender. Meanwhile, Keaton has managed to amp up the neurotic-savant performance with each new film and has now reached the point where not only her arms, but also her legs, flail without purpose or restraint. The only respite from her incessant chatter is a random bout of laryngitis halfway through the movie, which adds nothing to the story at hand but by that point is entirely welcome.

In the midst of this, Milly goes on several dates wearing the same dress, leaving the audience wondering if costume designer Nina Moore had her hands entirely full making Keaton look like a middle-aged flapper-mime-ballerina-clown.

Several subplots are introduced and quickly tossed out, like Graham’s suicidal psychiatric patient (Tony Hale, Arrested Development) and middle daughter Mae’s (Piper Perabo) marital troubles. Stereotype enforcing and mind numbing, the only legitimate question Because I Said So asks is how the producers tricked such an accomplished cast into appearing in such drivel.