Film review: Accidental Love

Alex Dudok de Wit
Biel and Gyllenhaal failing to light up Accidental Love
Cert 15 | ★☆☆☆☆

Accidental Love was supposed to be David O Russell’s follow-up to 2004’s I Heart Huckabees, but he bailed on the project in 2010, perhaps after finally getting around to reading his own script. The story is daft: when Alice (an insignificant Jessica Biel) gets shot in the head by an errant nail gun, she finds that she has no insurance to cover her medical bills. She heads to the capital to persuade an unctuous senator (an overheated Jake Gyllenhaal) to introduce universal healthcare; but the nail has caused her to lose her inhibitions, with sexy consequences. It makes What Women Want look like Freud.

It’s unclear what state the film was in when Russell left. The finished product, credited to the non-existent Stephen Greene, bears his faint imprint – the indie whimsy, the offhand treatment of mental issues (à la Silver Linings) – but lacks the wit and novelty of his best work. There’s nothing to it but insincerity and pretty faces.

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