Belly aching mars 'She's the One'

Mahoney, Diaz make most of their shallow characters

BY MARGARET A. McGURK
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Love, loyalty and betrayal are the chief topics in She's The One, the sophomore effort from Brothers McMullen auteur Edward Burns and company.

The chief activity is complaining. Although the characters are mostly attractive, and some funny things happen between them, most of the movie is given over to scenes of one character complaining to a second character about a third who is not present.

At the center of the story are brothers Mickey and Francis Fitzpatrick, played by the director and his fellow McMullen alum Mike McGlone. Where Francis is a hard-driving Wall Street type who neglects his beautiful wife Rene (Jennifer Aniston), Mickey is an aimless cab driver who moons over the loss of his faithless lover years ago until he impulsively marries a waitress (Maxine Bahns) after a 24-hour ride.

The brothers kvetch at one another during all-boy fishing trips while their ex-firefighter father (John Mahoney) complains about their mother and lectures them about remaining independent of female demands.

Francis - who is having a secret affair with his brother's ex-fiance Heather (Cameron Diaz) - complains about being trapped, and Rene complains that Francis refuses to have sex with her. Mickey complains about his wife's tastes, and his wife's girlfriend complains about Mickey.

You get the idea. The problem with all the bellyaching is that even when it is entertaining, very little of it reveals anything more than skin-deep about the characters.

By the end of the movie, secrets have been told, unjustified cruelties and just desserts have been meted out and the boys sail away with Dad once more - and nobody seems much changed.

The proceedings are enlivened by very good performances from Mr. Mahoney and Ms. Diaz, who turn their thinly drawn characters into real people and make us wish we could know much more about them.

Published Sept. 13, 1996.