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Take Two 

by Toddy Burton & r & & r & Becuase I Said So & r & & lt;span class= "dropcap " & W & lt;/span & ith a lazy, clich & eacute;-ridden plot and paper-thin character development, Because I Said So might as well have been directed by a trained chimpanzee. Which is unfortunate to say about director Michael Lehmann, whose r & eacute;sum & eacute; includes Heathers and the guilty pleasure Airheads. But there is no pleasure to be found here, only guilt. Lots and lots of guilt.





The perpetually single mom Daphne (Diane Keaton) is wildly overbearing. After marrying off her first two daughters (Piper Perabo and Lauren Graham), she makes it her mission in life to find Mr. Right for her somewhat flighty youngest, Milly (Mandy Moore). So she does what any over-the-top, meddling movie mom would do and places a personal ad, which reads: "Mother seeks life partner for daughter."





After interviewing the usual parade of stereotyped movie geeks, Daphne settles upon a supposed gem (Tom Everett Scott), who also happens to be obsessive, anal and totally wrong for the free-spirited Milly. Meanwhile, Milly meets rock 'n' roll single father Johnny (Gabriel Macht), a doting Mr. Perfect. Mom then proceeds to bully her daughter into dating Mr. Wrong, and the result is that Milly continues to see both guys simultaneously.





Sure, dating two guys at the same time can be both good comedy and compelling drama, but here it just comes off as selfish and sad. So much so that after Milly's two-timing is inevitably uncovered, I couldn't help but cheer while she got a much-deserved dumping-on.





But the loose plot is more of a frame on which to hang the series of sappy scenes and frankly offensive mother-daughter sexual banter. Do you really want to see Keaton giggle when her daughter talks about how good his kisses were "downstairs"?





Both Macht (The Good Shephard) and Moore (American Dreamz) are somewhat charming, Stephen Collins (Seventh Heaven) is entertaining as the easygoing father, and the always-wonderful Tony Hale (Arrested Development) is repeatedly funny. But the plot is about as revelatory as a bad Hallmark card, and the lowest common denominator humor results in a movie-going experience that's almost as appealing as having a conversation with my mother about orgasms. (Rated PG-13)





This review first appeared in the Austin Chronicle.

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