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Alex & Emma (Full Screen Edition)
Alex Emma
Full Screen Edition
Actors: Luke Wilson, Kate Hudson, David Paymer, Sophie Marceau, Chino XL
Director: Rob Reiner
Genres: Comedy
PG-13     2004     1hr 36min

Romantic Comedy. Alex (Luke Wilson) is an author whose writer's block and gambling debts have landed him in a jam. In order to get loan sharks off his back, he must finish his novel in 30 days or wind up dead. To help him ...  more »

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Movie Details

Actors: Luke Wilson, Kate Hudson, David Paymer, Sophie Marceau, Chino XL
Director: Rob Reiner
Creators: Adam Scheinman, Alan Greisman, Elie Samaha, James A. Holt, Jason Blumenthal, Jeffrey Stott, Jeremy Leven
Genres: Comedy
Sub-Genres: Romantic Comedies, Rob Reiner
Studio: Warner Home Video
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen - Closed-captioned,Dubbed,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 06/01/2004
Original Release Date: 06/20/2003
Theatrical Release Date: 06/20/2003
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 36min
Screens: Color,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 32
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English, French, French
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
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Movie Reviews

(4+) Cute and Clever - Two Romances In One Movie
Tucker Andersen | Wall Street | 06/26/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"After reading the mixed reviews, we were very pleasantly surprised by this movie. Luke Wilson is cast as Alex, a novelist who is unable to fulfill his contract with his publisher (Rob Reiner) due to writer's block. His task suddenly assumes a great deal of urgency when two enforcers pay him a visit and give him a deadline of thirty days to pay off a gambling debt of $100,000 or be killed. Since they torched his computer during their appearance, he decides to dictate the story to Emma, a stenographer played by Kate Hudson. This also allows him to concentrate on the creative task confronting him, although a fair amount of the comedy involves her commentary on his efforts.The novel is a 1924 tale involving Adam Shipley (also played by Luke Wilson), an Andover student who takes a summer job tutoring the children of Polina Delacroix (Sophie Marceau). The situation quickly becomes the classic story of a love triangle , with Polina faced with the dilemma of having chosen to marry for money but meanwhile increasing attracted to Adam. As Adam schemes how to become wealthy, his infatuation for Polina keeps him from recognizing his attraction for the various incarnations of her servant (the character keeps morphing as the story is rewritten), so Kate Hudson becomes the Swede Ylva, then the German Elsa, followed by the Spaniard Eldora before ending up as the American Anna. This is all done in a very clever and lighthearted manner.Meanwhile, the novel's scenes are interspersed with the development of the relationship betwen Alex and Emma during their increasing frantic attempt to meet the Alex's deadline. And not at all surprisingly, their real lives intersect with the plotline of the novel. Emma increasingly wonders if there is a real life Polina? Why is Alex as afraid of commitment as his characters? The cast gives the movie just the right feel, and Rob Reiner does a great job as both producer and director as well as in his small but crucial supporting role. There is enough time for the story to develop, but the various elements of the story aren't stretched out unnecessarily.This is a very clever, quite funny film. The humor is often low key (as in the instance of the law firm and its partners), rather than the slapstick hilarity that occasions raucous laughter. Thus, when not actually laughing we were almost constantly smiling. The key point is that the story and the techniques that are used to tell it work well in my estimation, rather than seeming to be forced into service to tell the story. I truly enjoyed the multiple roles played by Luke Wilson and Kate Hudson and their various romantic entanglements. It was especially fun to see Ms. Hudson alternate between Emma and her serial incarnations as Ylva, Elsa, Eldora, and Anna. And much to my surprise, the ending was a perfect conclusion to both the novel and the film."
I didn't think I'd like this movie this much...
Michael Joseph | 06/19/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This film is so romantic and great. It's on my top 10 list of most romantic romance comedy movies. Kate's character is most likeable. Her acting is way better then in her acting in previous other movies I saw her in. If you like romantic comedy movies give this a try, but if I were you, I'd rent it or something before you decide to actually buy it. I'm sorry if this review wasn't helpful."
It's quiet - TOO quiet. - but great!
Michael Joseph | Los Angeles | 07/25/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I liked this movie. I liked the low-key tempo, I liked the easy familiarity of both the actors and their characters, and I liked how their relationship in real life was reflected by the characters in the book. I especially liked that both actors, and their characters were so likable that it was like sitting down for an hour-and-a-half with some old friends and just relaxing.

This was never meant to be An Officer and a Gentleman or Casablanca. This wasn't a story about histrionics and/or sparks flying. This was meant to be, and is, a story about two people with flaws, who find them to be complimentary. You can see it in the way they immediately fall into an old relationship pattern of taking shots at one another, criticising each other, but not taking it too seriously, rather passing it off as just them being them. You also see it in the way they continue to write or talk to each other as they use the toilet, eat, etc.

The changing relationship can be most clearly seen (from Alex's viewpoint) in the changing of the characters Kate Hudson plays in the book - from the (pain in the a**) au pair Ylva, to the interested confidant Elsa (both deliberately overacted by Kate to indicate Alex's current vision of her), to the absolutely adorable Anna, the love interest. And, of course Emma is very defensive of these characters throughout, thereby revealing her feelings about Adam/Alex. This is validated in the final scene as Alex/Emma interchange with Adam/Anna, personally and in time.

Not every movie has to leave you breathless, crying, hyped - whatever. Some, like this one, are just meant to be enjoyed, and leave you relaxed and feeling good. There's no harm in that - I've spent far more time and money for far less return.

The ultimate message here is that you don't necessarily have to stop chasing your dream, just be sure it's the RIGHT dream."
Quite refreshing
Classic Movie watcher | 07/25/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

Between the money-thirsty but dazzling Polina (Sophie Marceau) and the pleasant, down-to-earth Anna (Kate Hudson), what should a penniless Adam (Luke Wilson) do? This was the plot about which Alex (Luke Wilson) the author wrote a book in 30 days. His stenographer Emma (Kate Hudson), who liked a book only if the ending pleased her, often protested and steered Alex's story in the right direction.

As the plot of the book materialised, Emma's affection for Alex grew just as Adam's relationship with Anna blossomed in the book. But then Emma gradually suspected that Alex drew on his own experiences in writing and dreaded the threat of Polina, Alex's dream lover, in real life. Moreover, would the book's fruitless ending of the love triangle bear any reflection on Alex's attitude of shunning intimate relationships?

A simple plot this was. All three characters got to play dual characters - in the book and in real life. But Rob Reiner, the director(When Harry met Sally) juggled tactfully between the book's characters and Alex-Emma dialogue, making the development crisp and sharp. He also played a substantial part in the movie. Kate Hudson played superbly as a die-hard romantic - lovable, opined, decisive and non-compromising. The surprise was the dazzling beauty of Sophie Marceau, both in the book's character and as Alex's ex-lover who showed up in the end for a possible reunion. But what held this movie together was the carefully crafted words of the book, sweetened by Luke Wilson's clear and enlightening voice. Surely, the ending was predictable; yet witnessing the birth of a book, from beginning to end, with a rewritten ending somehow injected dynamicism and creative process in the movie. Not a romantic comedy of actions, big emotional ups and downs. Rather it is for those who appreciate romance in subtlety. Quite refreshing.