© 2007 by C.E. Murphy. All Rights Reserved.
L to R: Diane Keaton as Daphne, Mandy Moore as
Milly, Lauren Graham as Maggie, and Piper Perabo
as Mae
Credit: Suzanne Tenner/Universal Pictures
© 2006 Universal Studios

In recent years, Diane Keaton has continued to
effortless performances in movies like
GIVE. While not on par with the films she
made in her hey day (like the peerless
and MANHATTAN for writer-director
Woody Allen, or the epic
REDS for
writer-director Warren Beatty), these films have
appealed to audiences looking for a comforting
respite from the heavy subject matter of
serious dramas or the large scale special
effects-driven popcorn flicks. Almost always
Keaton manages to triumph over the material,
however great or inferior it may be.

Such is the case once again with
, a charming trifle of a movie about
Daphne Wilder (Keaton), a meddlesome mother
about to turn 60 who is concerned over the
state of the love life of her youngest daughter
Milly (Mandy Moore). Milly and her mother share
a great deal of things in common, although
each would be hard pressed to admit it, as
sometimes is the wont between parent and
child. Milly's two older sisters, psychologist
Maggie (Lauren Graham) and Mae (Piper
Perabo) are married and seemingly in stable
relationships. Milly, though, is klutzy and has
the habit of choosing Mr. Wrong.

The premise of the movie is that Daphne
decides to take matters in hand and places a
personal ad on behalf of her daughter. Feeling
that she definitely knows best, she interviews a
slew of prospective suitors. There's the
standard issue sequence of Daphne meeting
the various oddballs until Jason (Tom Everett
Scott) shows up. An architect with a smooth
tongue who happens to be charming and good
looking, Jason fills the bill. But there's another
candidate that Daphne dismisses -- Johnny
(Gabriel Macht), a single dad who is a musician.
Each man begins a separate pursuit of Milly
with somewhat predictable consequences.

BECAUSE I SAID SO is undone by its uneven
screenplay credited to Karen Leigh Hopkins
(who has a small role as an employee of Milly's
catering company) and Jessie Nelson (who has
credits as an actress and a writer and who also
directed the treacly Sean Penn vehicle
.) Michael Lehmann's direction is also a bit
unsteady, with some of the scenes are too
slapstick while others are too slapdash while
still others reveal a lovely intimate quality.

The saving graces of the movie are provided by
the cast. In addition to the peerless Keaton,
Mandy Moore does a creditable job as Milly. She
shares a pleasant chemistry with Scott and
Macht although like most romantic comedies, it
becomes pretty clear early on which man might
win out. Scott is slick and genial as the
architect while Macht finally gets to display his
considerable range as the musician. Stephen
Collins is on hand as Macht's dad who provides
one of the film's surprises, while Piper Perabo
and Lauren Graham don't get much to do as
Milly's sisters.

BECAUSE I SAID SO is a pleasant enough
romantic comedy enhanced by some terrific
performances. (Memo to the producers, though,
couldn't you find another picture of Keaton
holding a baby rather than recycling the same
one used in
THE FAMILY STONE where it was
used to such an integral effect?)

If you are in the mood for a pleasant date flick,
you could do a lot worse than

Rating:                C
MPAA Rating:     PG-13 for sexual content
                   including dialogue, some
                   mature thematic
                   material and partial
Running time:    102 mins.