“Because I Said So,” review by Susan Granger

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As a middle-aged suburban woman, I’m in just right demographic for this picture – and, believe me, when I tell you not to see it unless you’re subpoenaed. It’s that bad.

Cue the clichés. Daphne Wilder (Diane Keaton) is the meddling mother of three grown daughters: Maggie (Lauren Graham), Mae (Piper Perabo) and Millie (Mandy Moore). The first two are happily married but Daphne’s afraid that Millie, who manages a catering business, won’t even recognize Mr. Right when she meets him. So, unbeknownst to Millie, Daphne places an Internet personals ad and interviews prospective sons-in-law. After a succession of frogs, she finds her prince – ultra-yuppie Jason (Tom Everett Scott). Problem is: a musician, Johnny (Gabriel Macht), overhears Daphne and decides to meet Millie himself. Guess which one Millie goes for? The successful architect who meets all of Daphne’s criteria or the scruffy guitarist-with-a-young-son? Oh, yes, the guitarist also has a single dad (Stephen Collins) who finds Daphne irresistible. Gimme a break!Screenwriters Karen Leigh Hopkins and Jessie Nelson (“Stepmom”) offer not one shred of originality, and director Michael Lehmann (“40 Days and 40 Nights”) repeats the same dumb, contrived sight gags, several involving large cakes splattering, multiple times, not to mention cacophonous clatter of cell-phones. As for Daphne’s experiencing her first sexual orgasm just after she turns 60, do I need to know the details of this?Over the years, Diane Keaton has honed the funny/flustered routine into a fine art and Mandy Moore exudes a haplessly vulnerable indecisiveness. But even these two talented actresses cannot overcome the sheer banality and stupidity of the script. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Because I Said So” is a trivial 3. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.