Home Fries (* ˝) - As I walked out of the theater Friday night with the group of friends I always see movies with, one of them asked me what I thought of this film. I said that I could describe the film in a single adjective: Painful! This was a painful movie experience to sit through. And let me stress that there is a difference between a painful movie and a full blown piece of shit. Believe me when I tell you that this film has elements of both.This film is only 92 minutes long, yet it felt longer than Beloved. At the half hour mark my eyes were getting heavy. I just kept saying to myself - “Take your time movie” The only enjoyment I got out of this moviegoing experience was watching the other patrons in the theater realizing that they had been duped by the advertisers into believing that this was a romantic comedy. Trust me - all the “romantic” elements you see in the trailers - is what you get in the movie. In a case like this, I start trying to grasp onto anything I can in the film to pull myself through. In this case, I started watching the performances and they really aren’t all that bad. I’ve always said that I’ll rarely criticize actors in their roles as a reason to pan the film. The blame usually lies at the screenwriting and direction levels. Catherine O’Hara does everything she can with the role of the deranged mom. Drew Barrymore is fine but she’s barely given anything to do compared to the one who the film really belongs to and that’s Luke Wilson. His naďve manner in the film was better suited in a better dark comedy called Bottle Rocket. That film had wit and originality. This film has flashes of it, but they are more like throwaway laughs. A film (nor an audience) doesn’t deserved to be teased like that.I wanted to see more writing on the level of a character stealing a suit jacket off a corpse for a funeral, or the cops posing with dead bodies, or the film’s truly only good scene, a lamas (however you spell it) class that is very well done mostly on the strength of the two actors. What a waste of time this film was and I can’t believe Siskel and Ebert gave it “two thumbs up”. It’s over-plotted yet underwritten, dark but uninteresting, a romantic comedy that’s neither truly romantic nor funny, and more simply to the point: Painful.