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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

Interview With Elvis Mitchell

Aired August 1, 2003 - 19:53   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Today, Jennifer Lopez, Ben Affleck take their shot into turning real life romance into big business -- that was one of the outtakes. You missed it on the DVD. The question is, can they achieve the same sort of success realized by, say, Batman and Robin? Joining us with his review of "Gigli" or "Gigli" or "Gigli" and other new movies is "New York Times" film critic Elvis Mitchell.
ELVIS MITCHELL, "NEW YORK TIMES": Give me just a minute, I just want to call and get one of those from Amazon.com.

COOPER: Yes, it's going to be hot.

All right, how bad is it?

MITCHELL: Well, I'll put it to you this way, you know that biohazard sign in "28 Days Later?" They're putting it up in front of theaters showing "Gigli" right now.

COOPER: That bad?

MITCHELL: It's easy to make jokes about a movie, you see a picture like this from a guy like Martin Brest, who did "Beverly Hills Cop" and "Midnight Run" and "Scent of a Woman," and you go, what were they thinking? How can a movie go wrong in so many ways?

COOPER: Let's take a look at the clip. I think we have a clip to actually play.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, hello, everybody.

JENNIFER LOPEZ, ENTERTAINER: Hello.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My god, what a beauty.

BEN AFFLECK, ACTOR: Ma!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What? I'm just saying. You should see some of the pigs he's brought by. I mean, not that they were pigs, per se, it's just that by and large, they were what I would call insignificant women. You, I could tell right off the bat, you seem to be of some substance.

(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: How is it a movie like this...

MITCHELL: Could there be a less natural conversation in the history of motion pictures than that? It's all this sort of high flown stuff, people speaking very slowly, as if there's a hearing disorder. If you notice that when she talked earlier in the other clip, they're speaking really kind of over deliberately, as if people are somehow -- they knew they'd be dozing through the movie so you can wake up and at least keep up with the movie.

COOPER: I'm always fascinated by how a huge movie like this, with huge stars, gets made, I mean, and ends up being so bad.

MITCHELL: OK. Certainly, you know, people work just as hard to make a bad movie as to make a good one.

COOPER: Well, yes, OK.

MITCHELL: But they worked just a little bit harder to make this so bad. It's just this utter miscalculation. It's just this kind of thing where people are constantly explaining what it is they're thinking in the least interesting way possible. When you have a woman talking about a movie star saying she's beautiful, you think this is truly the end of shame in the Western civilization. She's not even saying anything that makes any sense to anybody.

COOPER: It's interesting too, I mean, much has been written and said about married couples, or, you know, real-life couples on screen. They don't have chemistry. What was the chemistry like between these two?

MITCHELL: Well, like the chemistry between hydrogen and oxygen. (UNINTELLIGIBLE). It's the kind of raw sexual energy of Roger Ebert on screen, so you get...

COOPER: Oh, really? Ouch!

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: I got it. The other big movie that is opening this weekend, is the third "American Pie" installment. I guess it's called "American Wedding".

MITCHELL: And it's almost as good as "Gigli."

COOPER: Oh, really?

MITCHELL: That's how good it is.

COOPER: First, we have a clip. Let's show the clip.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "AMERICAN WEDDING")

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jim! The Flahertys are waiting.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think he's upstairs or something? How about the dining room?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is it weird that it feels good?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not what it looks like.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't go in there, darling, Lord knows what they'll do to you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was trying to get him off.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Back away from the animal.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: All right, high art, it's not.

MITCHELL: Just when you think they run out of Jane Austen novels to adapt, they find one more. It's obviously...

COOPER: This is her lesser known work.

MITCHELL: It will remain lesser known, I think. But still, it's a movie that they figured, it's so weird, you think it's almost an attempt to kill off bad taste by the religious right, because it's so relentless in bad taste, that after a while it seems kind of quaint and unoffensive. It's just so energetic about trying to push this stuff down people's throats. And again, it's all the other sequels we talked about this summer. It's so reiterative that it's nothing people haven't seen in previous movies.

COOPER: Is there anything good this weekend too see, a serious movie, anything an adult might like?

MITCHELL: There's actually a great new comedy around called "The Secret Life of Dentists," with Campbell Scott and Hope Davis. It's sort of about this guy whose life is falling apart around him. He's trying to manage his house, his wife, and his daughters. He's incredibly paranoid. His wife is a dentist too. It kind of deals with this kind of weird fear that grown-up people have about being grown-ups. Unlike having a fear of going to the movies, which you might get from going to "Gigli" or "American Wedding."

COOPER: All right, well, I probably won't be seeing "Gigli" this weekend. Elvis Mitchell, thanks.

MITCHELL: So can I get my copy of the DVD?

COOPER: Yes, I'll send it to you. I'll have my people send it to your people.

MITCHELL: I know how this works.

COOPER: You've heard that before.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com




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