I haven’t read Jamie Curtis‘ screenplay of Lost for Words, which has been described as a story about a libidinous movie star who finds himself falling in love with a beautiful Chinese actress and her female translator, but it certainly sounds like a sell-out project for the great Susanne Bier (Things We Lost in the Fire, Brothers, Open Hearts) to direct.
The synopsis alone sounds coy and randy-cute, like something Hugh Grant would have made in the late ’90s. Jamie Curtis’ biggest credits are having produced The Good Sex Guide, a British TV series, in the early ’90s, and then writing “additional dialogue” on ’97’s Spice World — what does that tell you about her vistas? But the dagger-in-the-chest element is the producing presence of Richard Curtis, the Love Actually director-writer, along with Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner.
One of the most shallow and sickly-treacly British films ever made, Love Actually is Curtis’ testament and emblem. All you need to know about Curtis’ filmmaking philosophy can be found in the following statement, which is on his IMDB page: “If you write a story about a soldier going AWOL and kidnapping a pregnant woman and finally shooting her in the head, it’s called searingly realistic, even though it’s never happened in the history of mankind. Whereas if you write about two people falling in love, which happens about a million times a day all over the world, for some reason or another, you’re accused of writing something unrealistic and sentimental.”
Bier is talented enough to recover from her association with Curtis (who doesn’t appear to have any family ties with Jamie, although they seem similar in attitude), but why is she even going there in the first place?