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Little Black Book (2004)

Have you ever been tempted to look inside his...

Directed by:

Nick Hurran

Rating: 4/10

Running Time: 97 minutes

US Certificate: PG-13 UK Certificate: 12a

Country: United States

A couple of things struck me whilst watching ‘Little Black Book’. The first is that there’s no little black book involved – it’s actually one of those little palm pilot thingies. The second is that Brittany Murphy has become virtually indistinguishable from Kate Hudson over these last few years. Not only do both actresses appear to have fallen into taking exactly the same sort of meek, forgettable rom-com roles over and over again, but they even seem to be starting to look a little like each other. And, now that I think about it, you never see the pair of them together either. It’s borderline creepy, is what it is.

Anyway, I digress. The film is about Stacy (Murphy – at least, I think so), a young up-and-coming TV producer who lands a dream job thinking up new ideas for trashy daytime talkshow ‘Kippie Kann Do’ (with Kathy Bates as the Jerry Springer-esque host Kippie Kann). Life seems to be going pretty darn well until she discovers one of the show’s guests – a bulimic supermodel called Lulu (Josie Maran) – used to date her beau Derek (not to be confused with Bo Derek – and he’s played by Ron Livingston).

From then on it’s Pandora’s Box time as Stacy uses Derek’s palm pilot to delve deeper into his past, and then pulls on all the show’s resources to sneak access to his other ex-girlfriends (including Julianne Nicholson and ‘NY-LON’s Rashida Jones).

‘Little Black Book’ feels like it’s been released a couple of years too late. It’s centred around the phenomenon of reality TV chat shows but, given that they all went out of fashion quite some time ago (even Springer himself is doing other things these days), any comment it’s trying to make can hardly be called topical. The film also seems to be distracted by the bizarre side-issue of plugging old Carly Simon albums, playing countless renditions of her songs and even giving her a walk-on cameo at the end.

Easily the biggest flaw, though, is that this is a comedy without any humour. Murphy puts her all into it, but cutesy bubbliness and a massive set of eyes which she appears to have borrowed from a fawn just aren’t enough to make up for a weak script, under-written characters and an out-dated premise.

It's Got: Some inventive talk show titles including ‘I model then I barf quietly’ and ‘Grandma’s a hooker, so handle it’.

It Needs: To have used them a few years ago, when people might have found them funny.

Alternatives:

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Working Girl

Summary

Much like the non-appearing object of the title, this is a film you shouldn’t even consider looking at.

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