First, the romantic-comedy bit: Lanie (Angelina Jolie) is an ambitious Seattle morning-show reporter with platinum-blonde locks, slinky dresses and a pout that seems more nudie bar than newscaster. Meanwhile, Ed Burns is Pete, her grungy cameraman and eventual romantic foil.
Now for the Final Destination part: a curbside psychic, Prophet Jack (Tony Shalhoub), predicts Lanie's demise within the week. She naturally ignores his rantings... Until a series of contrived plot machinations force her to do otherwise. Mortality looming, Lanie's at a loss until Pete spews metaphysical tripe about cheating death by changing her life. Which is where A Christmas Carol gets crowbarred in, Lanie unclenching her arse just in time.
Thing is, Stephen Herek's patchwork movie is so clichéd, so risible, that it's actually quite fun. Don't believe us? Then consider this: the only stereotype missing is the insufferable Hollywood anklebiter who always brings clueless adults together. Well, at least until Burns reveals he has just such a nipper, unmentioned before, meaning the filmmakers can now get on with the standard rom-com montage to snowball us towards the gee-ain't-life-grand? ending.
Terrible - - yet worth seeing for Jolie's undeniable star wattage and the chance to have a bloody good laugh at the filmmakers' expense.
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