It’s not bad enough that Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson showed a lack of chemistry in How to Lose a Guy in 10 days. Oh, no. They had to team up again to provide us with a Romancing the Stone wannabe that lacks romance, adventure and intelligence.
McConaughey and Hudson play an about-to-be-divorced treasure-hunting couple [Benjamin and Tess Finnegan] who still love each other, but having differing stances on the subject of responsibility. When Ben is late for the final judgement in the divorce case because of finding a clue to the treasure known as The Queen’s Dowry, the divorce is finalized and Tess is granted full ownership of their collective goods – which is too bad because, while finding the clue to The Queen’s Dowry, Finnegan’s lack of responsibility has resulted in their boat being sunk.
And if you think that’s a bit confusing, wait until you get the plot arcs involving the murderous loan shark and hip hop artist whom Finnegan owes money; or the peculiar father-daughter relationship that exists between Nigel [Donald Sutherland] and Gemma [Alexis Dziena] Honeycutt – and the coincidental employment of Tess by Nigel as the steward on his yacht!
Outside of Sutherland and Dziena, the best thing about Fool’s Gold is the music. Some of the featured tunes are by Bob Marley and Desmond Dekker – and, in combination with the gorgeous cinematography, manage to keep the film from being a total loss.
While Sutherland’s Nigel Honeycutt is a smart, witty and charming rich guy, Dziena’s Gemma is a bimbo on the order of the dopiest celbutards you can imagine – but Dziena plays her with flirty vivacity that actually succeeds in giving her character. Between the two of them, they infuse Fool‘s Gold with its only flicker of life.
On the other hand, Ben [usually referred to as Finnegan, or Finn] and Tess have no chemistry and, frankly seem to be sleepwalking through their roles. McConaughey is shirtless for most of the film, which will, no doubt, be appealing to the female audience but likely not enough to make the character work. Hudson could go shirtless throughout and it wouldn’t add anything to her vapid performance. And the less said about the film’s alleged villains, the better.
Fool’s Gold could well become a hit because, in the midst of the February blahs, it is bright and sunny and cheerful [except for the bursts of incongruent violence]. Unfortunately, it also overly complicated, not really well thought out and features character leads who are so generic as to be nearly invisible.
Simply put, fool’s gold is not the real thing – neither is Fool’s Gold!
Final Grade: D