"Fools Rush In," but wise men will rush out.
Less a movie than a petition by its two stars for major career moves, "Fools Rush In" turns out to be a surprisingly bathetic drama of domestic discord, in-law wars and pregnancy emergencies. It's not very funny.
I can certainly see why Matthew Perry and Salma Hayek would have said yes, however; for each it's a chance to stretch from already well-set perceptions and perhaps show the world, or at least the industry, that they are capable of more. Perry, the cute one on "Friends," gets to display callowness, bad judgment, immaturity and self-pity. I must say, he's suspiciously convincing. As for Hayek, heretofore a platform for her own breasts and little else, she gets a shot at actual acting.
He's some sort of Yalie hot-shot in the nightclub development biz in New York, who jets the world setting up new joints for the boss (the whole enterprise feels oddly sleazy and mob-like); he gets shipped to Vegas, where he meets her. She's a confused Mexican-American fleeing an engagement to an overbearing cop and pressure from an overbearing father. They meet cute (in line for a mixed-gender bathroom), spend the night together. Three months later she shows up pregnant and in a moment of alcohol-fueled panic, they get married. Then they have to decide whether they're in love and want to stay married, how to reconcile opposed cultures (Connecticut Presbyterian vs. Hispanic Catholic), how to deal with in-laws, career pressures and lifestyle choices.
If there were but a single surprise concealed anywhere among the wailing and the morning-after self-loathing. If there were a twist, a shake-up, even a red herring. But no. The movie plunges along dully toward the inevitable last-reel birthing sequence. Perry is actively annoying; Hayek works hard and may work again -- but not soon.
'Fools Rush In'
Starring Matthew Perry and Salma Hayek
Directed by Andy Tennant
Released by Tri-Star
Rated PG-13 (sexual situations)
Sun score: **
Pub Date: 2/14/97