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Overall Rating

Awesome: 21.38%
Worth A Look32.41%
Just Average: 18.62%
Pretty Crappy: 7.59%
Sucks: 20%

7 reviews, 103 user ratings

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Forces Of Nature
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by Chef ADogg

"Don't stand next to my fire. You'll get burned!"
4 stars

Sunday afternoons suck. Especially if you're depressed about a failed relationship and none of your friends are around to comfort you. The only thing to do, really, is watch a frothy romantic comedy wherein two people meet by coincidence, quickly fall in love, and then ride off into the sunset.

I've always subscribed to the belief that the hardest drug out on the streets is not something that you smoke or sniff or inject into your veins with scary-looking hypodermic needles. All of these are dangerous, sure, and all will get you high, but if you really want a pure hit, look no further than the local cineplex.

Allow me to explain: Relationships suck. They germinate, they bloom, and then they wither. No matter who you are, and no matter who you choose as a partner, you're doomed to end up feeling dejected, miserable, and lonely. Even worse is the nagging emptiness in the pit of your stomach. That kind of shit is hard for anyone to deal with, no doubt. So sometimes even the most hard-hearted cynics must seek out a little something to sweeten the bitter tang of reality.

Which brings me to "Forces of Nature." This is the movie you need--that we all need, from time to time. It's sappy, the plot hinges on way too many coincidences, and every single cliche in the Official Book of Romantic Cinema is employed with a somewhat disturbing lack of shame. Yet, despite all that, I found myself enjoying the experience. I think you will, too.

Ben Affleck, who is becoming one of my favorite modern actors, takes the lead as a guy named <ahem> Ben. When we first meet Ben, he's shaking off some pre-wedding jitters--he's all set to marry Bridget (Maura Tierney, looking even more adorable than she did during her stint on "NewsRadio"), and he's a bit worried. Things don't get any easier when, after a string of freak coincidences, he finds himself travelling cross-country with an attractive "free spirit" named Sarah, and experiencing the kind of exciting spark that's missing from his relationship with Bridget.

Sarah is played, rather annoyingly, by Sandra Bullock. It must be noted, at this point in the review, that Affleck and Bullock have about zero chemistry. Now, in most romantic comedies, that would prove something of a problem. For the genre to be effective, we need to believe in the attraction. We need to fall in love with these people falling in love. It doesn't happen here, and, while it's disappointing, it doesn't really hurt the film that much.

Why? Because you're not really thinking about all that. The point of the film is never really the relationship between Ben and Sarah; it's much more about Ben's feelings toward Bridget, and his responsibility to their impending marriage. I think that's why I liked it so much. Most movies simplify these issues and offer a generic "happy ending." "Forces of Nature" is, dare I say, a bit deeper than all that--at points, it even verges on realistic.

It's also quite fun. Director Brownen Hughes (she of "Harriet the Spy") has a good time playing with the conventions of the genre, and she fits in some rather cool sequences. I mean, I don't know about you, but when I turn on a romantic comedy, I don't expect much in the style department. Hughes really surprises in that aspect--it looks she had fun getting crazy with the special effects during the various storms, and the cast carries a lot of that joy to the next level.

Affleck has a ball playing the straight man, and the usually typecast Bullock cuts loose (even thought I think I liked her better when she was still doing "nice and fully clothed"). The support is also a hoot--any screen showing Steve Zahn is a good screen, methinks. Unfortunately, this movie also has the somewhat dubious distinction of being David Strickland's final showcase. I mean, all respect for the dead and everything, but I hate that guy. A lot.

So: the cast is awesome, the direction is interesting, and the script is punchy and often very, very funny. In short? It works as a genre picture. It also suffices, I'm happy to report, as a somewhat serious look at relationships--it's one of the first I've seen that really asks the question "How much I do owe this person?" You know the feeling--you've been in a relationship with someone for awhile, you're feeling kind of restless, and you have to stop and ask yourself how much of yourself you're really obligated to give this person (if any).

"Forces of Nature" may not be the best movie of all time, but at least it's trying. It's hard not to love a film that least aspires to break out of the genre confines.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=1586&reviewer=123
originally posted: 04/12/00 18:32:49
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User Comments

10/07/08 Shaun Wallner Awesome story! 5 stars
8/29/07 Lilly i watched it every time it i know it will be shown on the tv. A movie that has it all! 5 stars
5/22/06 Ashley Hinz I didn't like it. Ben and Sandy together was interesting, however. 3 stars
4/19/05 Jeff Anderson Hopelessly bad, unfunny & absolutely poorly made(Elliot Davis' camerawork is unattractive)! 1 stars
6/17/03 Erin didn't like. period 2 stars
6/05/03 Shadaan Felfeli loved the film 5 stars
3/18/03 Gracy Lionheart This movie, while not awful, is fairly close to that label. No sparks fly here. 2 stars
3/03/03 Jack Sommersby The two stars are unbearable; the photography is ugly; the film is a catastrophe. 1 stars
5/14/02 Blake This was most romantic movie of the year. 5 stars
2/09/02 Adrienne Waters Typical Sandra Bullock drivel, immensely unpleasant. 1 stars
11/24/01 Butterbean I only watched this for Ben Affleck's fine looking ass. This flick is watchable.. 3 stars
6/22/01 Justin Cheung Sandra is the best! 5 stars
4/16/01 LiL Good, but the ending was predictable and a bit dissapointing 3 stars
7/24/00 Elvisfan Aside from some nice cinematography, this movie blows goats 2 stars
4/26/00 verbalgirl cute 4 stars
4/13/00 Fishsticks One of those romantic comedies that doesn't embarass itself too much. 4 stars
3/12/00 Trina Barnard Good enough that I bought it 4 stars
2/05/00 Kyle Broflovski Good buildup to a truly shitty ending. Bah. 3 stars
10/03/99 Britney Very cool movie...Great actors! 5 stars
9/21/99 Tristynn not that great.. kind of fun... Ben is good and Sandy does an okay job.. bad plot.. 3 stars
9/19/99 vickie Very entertaining, light fare 4 stars
7/27/99 Gina Movie was a bore! I guess they're showing it on flights to Moscow to help passengers sleep 1 stars
7/05/99 Angie if it wasn't for the ending this movie would've sucked all ass..bullock looked like a whore 3 stars
7/02/99 blue b. I'm a huge Ben fan, but I found this movie to be a waste of time. 2 stars
6/21/99 EmpresS I lub those Afflecks, the movie was annoying though 3 stars
6/17/99 matchbox20 Affleck looked tired and uninterested through out the movie 1 stars
6/15/99 Kim Great Actors, great movie. 5 stars
6/15/99 Melissa just go to see Affleck...he's very believeable in this role, a fine performance 4 stars
6/14/99 Sally BORE, SNOOZE, YAWN! Ben's cool! Movie sucks! 1 stars
6/14/99 jes ben affleck, all the way 5 stars
5/27/99 Ferggie WHAT A SNOOZE!!! 1 stars
5/20/99 Mike Hunt Not only did the ending BLOW, but so did the entire film! 1 stars
5/20/99 Carisa Bullock and Affleck 5 stars, movie 3 stars 4 stars
5/17/99 Beat_Me_Clever This fucking rocked, Ben is DA MAN 5 stars
5/13/99 Jeffie Can you say SNOOZE? If you have insomnia, u certainly won't be afflicted during this film! 1 stars
5/10/99 MRHOLLYWOOD !! Bullock/Affleck both drool worthy/great FX and a realistic ending. 4 stars
5/09/99 GG Story SUCKS ALL ASS! What a BORE! Too bad for Affleck and Bullock. 1 stars
5/03/99 JJ Get over Affleck already -He's hung up on Gwen!! IT SUCKED 1 stars
4/30/99 Tristynn very disappointing...Ben and Sandra I love,but this movie is a snooze.to bad.see it for Ben 4 stars
4/29/99 Lisa It was fun--nothing more. That's not always bad. 4 stars
4/28/99 George Like Affleck & Bullock. But this SUCKED and BLEW! God-awful writing, directing, etc. 1 stars
4/27/99 Red See this one for Affleck and Bullock. It's sad that the story didn't live up to the hype. 3 stars
4/26/99 Angie once again, Ben looked sexy, but the movie wasn't too great. Sandra was awful! 3 stars
4/24/99 aoakely13 "awesome movie, okay ending" 4 stars
4/23/99 sweet lady!!! Ben was so hot, Id like to give my own force of nature! 5 stars
4/23/99 gibb Piss on Ben. Thsi movie was slow and dull 1 stars
4/22/99 Anabell I loved it,it was sweet, funny, and wonderfully acted (ahem, ben). The ending made sense 5 stars
4/22/99 Jessica Jordan Interesting concept for a film. Separately Ben 4 stars
4/19/99 Lovebug Disappointing. Sandra and Ben are good but the movie doesn't really flow. 3 stars
4/19/99 sonia Forces of nature rocked. It was funny, sweet and the ending kind of caught me off guard. 5 stars
4/18/99 Ben Like "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" ONLY this sucked!!!!!!!! 1 stars
4/18/99 Kristyne What a pussy review. Why not give those involved with the film a hand job to go along with 3 stars
4/17/99 Jennie I love it, especially the ending! Ben Affleck is such a fantastic actor and cute. 4 stars
4/13/99 Ami the Wonderbread Ben is on the way to superstardom. I love Sandy 4 stars
4/13/99 Michelle It's nice to see a "romantic comedy" that doesn't stick to the proven formula - good ending 4 stars
4/12/99 Shanda Besler Although I thought Ben and Sandra were great...the movie lacked "something" for me. 3 stars
4/10/99 Tristynn Sorry.. love Ben and Sandra but this movie is a snooze ..come on Ben, you can do better... 3 stars
4/09/99 Randall The ending wasn't a cop-out. i went into this movie with low expectations, but i was wrong 5 stars
4/08/99 Heidi Pressly Great Movie! Ben and Sandra were awsome. 5 stars
4/08/99 Me A must see for any Ben Affleck fan. He looked amazing! 5 stars
4/08/99 Big Jimmy movie sucked, but Bullock looks hot with that black shit around her eyes 2 stars
4/07/99 Daun Harner Great movie! Ben and Sandra were great together! 5 stars
4/07/99 Dave Maura needs to stick with "news Radio" Not a movie star she SUCKED and was boring 1 stars
4/07/99 sweet lady!!! I wanna fuck ben so hard!!! 5 stars
4/06/99 Jocelyn J. two great actors working with an OK script, all in all a good movie but not up for a oscar 4 stars
4/06/99 lianesse ben--mmm, funny, uplifting 5 stars
4/05/99 LR Really a good movie, whether you have a date or not! Loved the ending! 4 stars
4/04/99 Stephanie OK, so I'm in love with Ben, but this movie was awesome. 5 stars
4/03/99 Jerry This gets two bitchslaps 1 stars
4/02/99 Kate I loved the ending. Ben Affleck has great comic skills. 5 stars
3/31/99 Erin I really liked it but the ending was a downer!!! 4 stars
3/30/99 Heather Loy Definetely drool worthy!! Ben is absolutely looking his best in this modern day love story! 5 stars
3/30/99 CM Affleck SPFX were incredible and so was Ben. It was a cute movie that i would definatly see again. 5 stars
3/29/99 Michael Ms.Bullock you ought to be ashamed of this movie 1 stars
3/29/99 Patti I love this movie. Ben is what I call "whole package sexy." 5 stars
3/28/99 Chuck not good, the plane should crashed woulda saved an hour and a half of lame dialogue 1 stars
3/28/99 mike Microphones in every shot. Affleck is getting Gwyneth's mom work now-sucked 1 stars
3/28/99 Kenda Ben played himself. Sandra played herself. Much better than I expected, though. 4 stars
3/28/99 Ebert's twin Miserable piece of crap. SAVE YOUR MONEY PEOPLE! 1 stars
3/28/99 Katie Visuals are awesome, story is okay, Ben is a cutie. 4 stars
3/28/99 HeatherLadyBug Did maura Tierney forget that she wasen't playing lisa??? Sandra was Great! 4 stars
3/27/99 Shanandler Bong Ben was great as a guy in Love, and Sandy was great as a free spirit 5 stars
3/27/99 Lisa Great leads in a decent movie. SPFX oddly overwhelm key emotional scenes. 3 stars
3/26/99 Shel My only complaint was that Big Ben did not remove enough clothes during his strip. 5 stars
3/26/99 Jade generic, predictable movie, but Affleck and Bullock show great acting-worth it to see them 4 stars
3/25/99 Valerie Three words:Ben Affleck Stripping 5 stars
3/25/99 Jackie(schultj@csd.uwm.edu) I laughed harder during the strip scene then I have in ages,But.... Can't WAIT for Dogma!! 4 stars
3/24/99 Powrhug loved the ending-Ben was charming as usual-he and Sandra seemed more brother-sister though 4 stars
3/23/99 Jeff Ben Affleck shows the 2nd step to greatest following Chasing AMY 5 stars
3/22/99 Malbert Sandra Bullock&Ben Affleck were great!...the music didn't go with the movie 4 stars
3/21/99 Marjorie The movie was okay - would like to see Ben in a more challenging role 3 stars
3/21/99 Ah Dooey Sandra Bullock?! Agh! I'd rather throw up for this! 4 stars
3/21/99 Alexis Very enjoyable, I loved the ending. 5 stars
3/21/99 Ali excellent chemistry, and the strip scene was hilariously funny!! 5 stars
3/21/99 Kevin Knapp A waste $6.50 in my oppinion! A definate "chick flick" - No offense 1 stars
3/20/99 Film Review Well,Creep,you have to count Armageddon.That was A+.This is very entertaining as well. 4 stars
3/20/99 Cool thing Didn't hate it, and for a Bullock film that's amazing. 4 stars
3/19/99 lianesse ben=sex 5 stars
3/19/99 Orgazmo A dumb, insiped piece of my dog's shit. 1 stars
3/19/99 MissMod okay 4 stars
3/17/99 Negative Creep Funny in all the right places. Could be Ben's Breakthough film if you dont count Armageddon 4 stars
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  19-Mar-1999 (PG-13)



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