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The Independent Critic

STARRING
Eva Longoria Parker, Paul Rudd, Lake Bell, Jason Biggs
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
Jeff Lowell
MPAA RATING
Rated PG-13
RUNNING TIME
95 Mins.
DISTRIBUTED BY
New Line
 "Over Her Dead Body" Review 
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Is it just me or does Eva Longoria look like a drag queen?

Is this her usual look? Am I missing something?

Having only seen "Desperate Housewives" once, I can honestly say that my familiarity with Longoria lies more with her marriage to Tony Parker than with any knowledge at all of her acting background.

Does she have an acting background?

Can she act?

It's my understanding that Longoria plays, on "Desperate Housewives," a rather snooty, bitchy type.

Are we sure she's acting? Because, it appears to me, she's playing virtually the same character in "Over Her Dead Body," a remarkably unfunny and anti-romantic romantic comedy written and directed by Jeff Lowell (screenwriter, "John Tucker Must Die").

When Kate (Parker) experiences an untimely demise on her wedding day, her grieving hubby to be (Paul Rudd, "Knocked Up") goes to see a psychic (Lake Bell, "Boston Legal") who he ends up dating. This psychic, of course, conjures up the spirit of his not so restful ex-fiancee and laughs do not ensue.

Problem number one is that Kate, who is behaving obnoxiously at her wedding, is killed off so early in the film that it's impossible to bond with her in either good or bad ways. Thus, when she shows up and starts getting in the way of her former fiancee's happiness it becomes hard to laugh or buy into any romantic intentions.

Much like he did with "John Tucker Must Die," Lowell can't seem to decide what he wants "Over Her Dead Body" to be.

Is it a romantic comedy? There are a few, admittedly modest, laughs yet the film more often falls woefully short.

Is it a simple, lighthearted romance? That would be hard to fathom given that neither the combos of Parker/Rudd nor Bell/Rudd exhibit any chemistry and, in fact, Bell shows more chemistry with Jason Biggs as her personal assistant, who also happens to be gay.

Parker, from what I hear, can be joyfully bitchy on "Desperate Housewives." Here, Parker more resembles Bridezilla who tortures everyone around her even from beyond the grave.

Lake Bell, on the other hand, gleefully over-acts but does exhibit at least a moderate gift for physical comedy.

Rudd, despite being an odd match for Parker, gives it his usual best shot with a dry with reminiscent of his recent work in the inconsistent "The Ten."

Supporting players actually fare a tad better here, most notably Biggs, Ali Hillis ("The Ultimate Gift") and the always dependable Stephen Root.

While "Over Her Dead Body" is far from the worst romantic comedy I've ever seen, it is a rather bland and predictable entry with a storyline that has been done similarly ("Ghost," among others) with much more success.

The good news for Parker is that the writer's strike appears to be winding down and, with any luck, she can chalk this up to having too much free time and return to the safety of Wisteria Lane.

The bad news is that, come Razzie season, her best friend Emmy may have a new companion on the Parker family trophy shelf.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic

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    The Independent Critic is proud to support Indy-based Heartland Film by committing to the 50/50 x 2020 Pledge - By the end of the year 2020, The Independent Critic will achieve gender parity in its reviews of both shorts and feature films. Furthermore, The Independent Critic also pledges support for the Ruderman Family Foundation's call for authentic representation of people with disabilities in film and actively commits to leverage its journalistic influence to effect genuine change in the film industry by calling for and actively promoting authentic and inclusive casting and hiring of people with disabilities.

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