Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Clueless director Amy Heckerling has always had her finger on the pulse of what’s hip and timely with her funny and irreverent takes on contemporary life. While working on the television spinoff of Clueless for ABC and raising a daughter as a single parent, Heckerling became as Entertainment Weekly’s Missy Schwartz wrote, “increasingly ambivalent about working in an industry that promotes unrealistic standards of beauty for young girls and considers women over 40 to be prehistoric beasts,” (“Would You Dump This Woman?” 2/8/08). In response, she penned the clever and witty I Could Never Be Your Woman which first took shape in the late 1990’s before being retooled again a few years ago in a script that reunited Heckerling with her Clueless leading man Paul Rudd and garnered a commitment from talented actress Michelle Pfeiffer whose celebrity helped get the film made by the controversial production company Bauer Martinez Entertainment which arrived in Hollywood in 2005.
While fans and members of the industry and press awaited its release in theatres, the film kept getting pushed back due to an unbelievably complicated mess of contract, technicality and even legal issues that made the film one of the most challenging of Heckerling’s career before it was relegated to a recent DVD release after being rescued by The Weinstein Company. Although articles such as Schwartz’s in-depth Entertainment Weekly piece may help illuminate some of the difficulties surrounding its post-production, we may never really know why the film was sidelined by red tape and despite the fact that some of the references feel a few years old, it’s still a wonderfully funny film that as Paul Rudd notes is “deceptively layered, as Amy’s work tends to be,” (Entertainment Weekly).
Pfeiffer stars as sharp Heckerling-like television writer Rosie for the aptly named teen sitcom You Go Girl starring Brianna (Clueless star Stacey Dash) who struggles to find a balance in her professional life with her personal one as she raises a precocious daughter Izzie (Irish star Saoirse Ryan before her Oscar nominated breakthrough in Atonement). Izzie who spends her free time prank calling celebrities such as Matthew Perry and Henry Winkler from her mother’s phone book along with dropping her Ken doll in the vent because he has Alzheimer’s is not only starting to outgrow Barbies but actually wanting to find a love of her own as well. It’s romance times two when forty year old Rosie, constantly egged on by Mother Nature (a hilarious Tracey Ullman) about her aging body, finds herself caught off guard when she begins to fall for twenty-nine year old comic actor Adam (Paul Rudd) who manages to steal both Rosie’s hearts along with the viewers' when he signs onto You Go Girl. The charming Rudd who has some truly memorable scenes that can’t be missed brings out a far more carefree and wild side in Pfeiffer that’s refreshing to see and while it’s pretty safe to say that I Could Never Be Your Woman has lost its momentum with the absence of press and arriving instead in video stores, for those who take the time to check it out, it’s a pleasantly affable little sleeper.