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Rebecca Opstedahl

Rebecca Opstedahl

“Life without Dick” So what do you do when you accidentally shoot your loser boyfriend? Well, you can start dating the hit man that was supposed to kill him in the first place.

Colleen Gibson (Sarah Jessica Parker) comes home one day to find her boyfriend Dick Rasmassen (Johnny Knoxville) with his bags packed and plane ticket in hand. She points a gun at him intending only to shake him up a bit but as luck would have it, the gun goes off. She frets about it for a total of 10 minutes when the doorbell rings, and she finds a handsome Irishman hit man (Harry Connick, Jr.) on her doorstep.

Of course, Colleen doesn’t know he’s a hit man right away but as he falls in love with her, the truth comes out. Danny Gallagher had been hired by the “mob but they weren’t the mob cuz they were Irish” gangsters to rub out Dick.

Dick was a private eye investigating the “mob leader” unbeknownst to his sweetheart. Danny tells Colleen he has to perform five hits and then he’s quitting for good but there’s a tiny problem. He’s a “hit man that can’t kill.” Because of her undying love for Danny, Colleen volunteers to do his hits for him. And why not? She’s a pro. She handles a gun like a natural and nobody has ever accused her of being smart. The movie starts off ok enough but it plummets down faster than Mariah Carey’s acting career.

So much film is wasted on Harry Connick Jr.’s denial of being a great singer that if you were to omit those scenes, there would be no film left. He constantly denies to sing for his friends but when he breaks down and does sing -surprise! – everyone loves him. Please. Parker’s character needed to be developed a bit more and Goldilocks should learn to stay on HBO, this is so not her movie. Perhaps the only actor with some charisma was Knoxville, but he was also dead for most of the movie.


“Chocolat” Classic Valentine Days include flowers, candy, and the right person. “Chocolat” doesn’t include many flowers but definitely includes a near overdose of candy confection. Vianne (Juliette Binoche) and her 6-year-old daughter travel from village to village spreading their chocolate cheer. When the north wind blows them into a quiet French town, they face much opposition in the beginning. Vianne decides to open her candy store directly across from the Catholic Church during Lent. The locals are very wary of her new shop, and business is slow, but somehow Vianne gets people to come in and at least sample her chocolate. She befriends the local cranky grandmother Armande (Judi Dench) and helps save a neighbor from an abusive husband.

Being a small town, word circulates quickly that Vianne has some rather magical chocolate. Magical in the sense that some of the chocolate is an aphrodisiac and some relax the mind and the mouth doesn’t stop talking.

Just before you forget he’s even in the movie, Johnny Depp appears on a floating boat as one of the “river rats.” His gypsy charm rubs off on Vianne and a romance begins between the two drifters.

Lasse Hallstrom (“The Cider House Rules”) directs a film full of heart and passion without going over the top. All the actors do a wonderful job with their characters Some you really grow to love as the story unfolds. Hallstrom uses magical realism, much like the Latin film “Like Water for Chocolate,” to tell his story but it remains believable throughout and very likable. But viewers beware: this film can give you an intense craving for chocolate.