Lisa Schwarzbaum
March 08, 1996 AT 05:00 AM EST

Mr. Wrong

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG-13
runtime
96 minutes
performer
Ellen DeGeneres, Bill Pullman
director
Nick Castle
author
Chris Matheson
genre
Romance, Comedy

We gave it a C-

It’s a cute idea: Girl meets boy who appears to be thoughtful, suave, and romantic. In the course of courtship, however, boy turns out to be dorky, dense, and so doggedly devoted as to drive girl nuts. She wants to break up; he refuses to get a clue. Amusing mayhem follows. The only problem is, Mr. Wrong, this romantic comedy tailor-made for Ellen DeGeneres (now that she’s done the TV sitcom and best-selling book) and Bill Pullman is high on mayhem and low on amusement. DeGeneres, so likable a performer but so hard to fit into anything other than her own comedic act (where relationships are never part of the material), is forced into ludicrous escapades in the name of advancing the one-joke plot, including fleeing to Mexico and clomping around in a flouncy wedding dress. And Pullman, who can usually shade a character so subtly between sweetie and sucker, is made to veer manically into jerkhood for no particular reason except that the filmmakers couldn’t come up with anything smarter to propel this galumphing caper along. C-

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