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  Crescent Blues Book Views

Warner Home Video (DVD)

We know that writer Alex (Luke Wilson) fulfills the requirements of a romantic comedy hero because he says things like, "The beauty of writing is that you can have things work out the way they never seem to in life."

DVD: alex and emma When Alex hires reserved stenographer Emma (Kate Hudson, sporting a drab brunette 'do to further demonstrate her reserved-ness), the story of his life works out in ways that even he does not dare imagine. To pay off a gambling debt, Alex, suffering from writer's block and a variety of imagined illnesses, must finish his book in 30 days. If only he could find a cute girl to help him write it.

Enter Emma, ready to take on the typing challenges, among other things, of Alex's misguided soul. When Emma inquires about his novel's plot, Alex replies, "It's about the powerlessness of being in love, how it devours the insides of a person like a deadly virus…it's a comedy."

Sounds "delightful," I know, but these overly dramatic words offer a glimpse into the story of Alex & Emma, a romantic comedy that finds its hero falling in love with his leading lady while struggling to maintain control over his own unraveling life.

Alex & Emma jumps between real time and fictitious time while our brainstorming writer and stenographer find their imaginative way through the 1920s setting of Alex's novel. By incorporating themselves into the story (which, with the guidance of director Rob Reiner, comes off cute here, not conceited), a strange bond begins to form between Alex and Emma. Initially, Alex does not realize where this journey will take them. Of course, by now, the audience does.

Alex & Emma jumps between real time and fictitious time while our brainstorming writer and stenographer find their imaginative way through the 1920s setting of Alex's novel. By incorporating themselves into the story (which, with the guidance of director Rob Reiner, comes off cute here, not conceited), a strange bond begins to form between Alex and Emma. Initially, Alex does not realize where this journey will take them. Of course, by now, the audience does.

The plot thickens, however, when we learn how much of Alex's life goes into his writing. Alas, the path to true love must contain obstacles, but rest assured, our hero will write his way out of any dilemma. Alex finally gets a clue and changes the ending of his novel to match the hopeful beginning of his life. Who knew one rewrite could change a person's life? If only real life could work out that way. I, for one, would be rewriting several of my life's chapters in the Bahamas. Then again, if real life were this simple, we wouldn't need movies.

Far from a commercial or critical success when released in June 2003, Alex & Emma deserves some positive feedback. If the film demonstrates anything, it underscores the power of imagination and what it can accomplish. Where would the film industry be without creative minds taking us to imagined worlds?

Meg Corcoran

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