Accidental Love 2015
This was the official website of the 2015 movie, Accidental Love. Content is from the site's archived 2015 pages and other outside sources including reviews from RottenTomatoes.
Alice's perfect life is turned upside down when a freak accident leaves a nail lodged in her head, causing erratic (and erotic) behavior. After her fiancé calls off the engagement, Alice sets off in search of a cure and falls into the arms of Howard Birdwell, a sexy senator who champions her cause. Caught up in a love triangle held together by a nail, will Alice listen to her head or her heart?
Rating: PG-13 (for sexual contact and language)
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Directed By: David O. Russell
Written By: Dave Jeser, Kristin Gore, Matt Silverstein
In Theaters: Mar 20, 2015 Limited
On Disc/Streaming: Apr 28, 2015
Runtime: 100 minutes
Studio: Millennium Entertainment
Accidental Love Official Trailer #1 (2015 ) Jake Gyllenhaal, Jessica Biel
TOMATOMETER 6% Crtics | 15% Audience
August 14, 2015 | Rating: 1/4
Richard Roeper Chicago Sun-Times Top Critic
It's an unmitigated disaster, not even worth a spin as a curiosity piece.
March 20, 2015
Bilge Ebiri New York Magazine/Vulture Top Critic
Movie Review: Accidental Love, the David O. Russell Movie He Didn’t Get to Finish
Accidental Love. Photo: Alchemy
How does one assess something like Accidental Love? This is the movie that began life as Nailed, directed and co-written by David O. Russell back in 2008, after the critical and financial disappointment of I Heart Huckabees and before his Oscar-fueled career resurgence with The Fighter. Numerous production delays and troubles with financiers eventually led to the director leaving the project in 2010, reportedly with one day of shooting left. (His producers had already departed.) He has since disavowed it, and this highly compromised cut arrives credited to the Alan Smithee–like pseudonym Stephen Greene. It was quietly released on VOD last month and is now appearing in a smattering of theaters.
So, nobody wants to have anything to do with the movie we have before us — which is understandable, since it’s something of a catastrophe. But it also has the quality of a medical cadaver: You can examine it and learn things you might not have known before. Watching Accidental Love, you begin to realize just what it is that makes David O. Russell the director that he is, and you start to have newfound respect for what he brings to a movie. (Yes, yes, I know: You thought American Hustle was overrated. I didn’t. Sorry.)
Based on Kristin Gore’s novel Sammy’s Hill, the story is a broad political satire about all-American roller waitress Alice (Jessica Biel), who is accidentally shot in the head with a nail gun during a romantic dinner with her state trooper fiancée Scott (a hilarious James Marsden). She’s rushed to the hospital, but, just as she’s about to be operated on, she’s denied services because she has no health insurance. (The doctors literally drop what they’re doing and go on lunch break; one of them, played by Bill Hader, whines about 25-year-olds who come to hospitals and expect free health care.) Alice is too old to be insured under her parents, and her job doesn’t offer coverage. Getting health insurance through Scott once they’re married is out of the question, since the nail in her head would just be considered a preexisting condition. (Also, he’s suddenly uncool about marrying a girl with a giant nail stuck to her head.) Paying out of pocket is impossible, as her surgery costs $150,000.
Alice winds up taking her case to Washington, and allies herself with a dashing and slightly helpless Congressman played by an eerily young Jake Gyllenhaal. He falls for her (it helps that the nail in the head makes Alice sexually unpredictable and adventurous) and takes up her cause. Unfortunately, they meet a massive roadblock in the form of a ruthless House Whip, soon-to-be-Speaker, played by Catherine Keener; her big issue is a base on the moon and she isn’t about to let some pointless thing like coverage for millions of uninsured Americans sidetrack her cause. Along the way, Alice makes common cause with armies of Girl Scouts, as well as a preacher with an eternal erection (Kurt Fuller) and a man with anal prolapse (Tracy Morgan), and she becomes a national celebrity. Meanwhile, her fiancée Scott, starting to feel a little guilty about abandoning her (especially now that she’s famous), decides to come back into her life.
Accidental Love is an utter mess, which is understandable given its troubled provenance. It’s also fascinating. We see so little genuine satire on film nowadays — it’s always crossbred with something more earnest, like a romance, or a thriller — that watching one suddenly feels like an alien encounter. (Yes, this film has a romance in it as well, though it feels largely secondary, despite the foregrounding in the title.) Of course, the film also offers a case study in why cinema has largely ceded satire to television: The flipside of topicality is a reduced shelf-life, and the entire premise of Accidental Love has dated in a post-Obamacare America. One wonders if the film, whatever its other flaws, might have felt less awkward had it been about something more of-the-moment.
But what truly makes this film so curious is the way in which flashes of Russell’s genius shine through the chaos. We already know his talent with actors; there are few surer routes to an Oscar nomination these days than a major part in a David O. Russell movie. But we sometimes forget just what an exciting shooter he is — how freewheeling his camera can be, how he can capture and enhance a scene’s inherent energy with almost supernatural power. Through the fog of this edit, one can sense some potential career-best work from people like Marsden and Biel, actors who often find themselves slumming in genre movies and rarely get the chance to show their comedic chops. But alas, even their performances are largely trampled here.
One of Accidental Love’s biggest crimes is that it doesn’t respect the rhythms of Russell’s work, trying to graft conventional edits onto footage that most likely was meant to have a free-form, almost improvisatory quality. Russell was trying to put I Heart Huckabees behind him with Nailed, but one senses more than a little of that earlier movie (which some of us still find wonderful) and its oddball sense of humor here. But to bring such humor out, you need to understand the unique pacing of the director’s style — the way his jump cuts work, and the way his characters might suddenly find themselves in repetitive loops. Cutting it all in the usual way kills that energy dead.
Could the film have worked, had Russell been allowed to finish it? Nailed would almost certainly have been light years better than Accidental Love, but one wonders if the satire might have still felt thin, the broader comic bits still a little forced. We’ll never know: Not only was Russell not done shooting the film when he left, he was also deprived of that lengthy period of assessing, reassessing, and rethinking during postproduction, one of the most critical parts of the filmmaking process. Accidental Love may be a failure as a movie, but there’s a part of me that’s still glad it exists. This is a unique, cautionary glimpse into the creative act.
June 15, 2015 | Rating: 2/5
Dave Calhoun Time Out Top Critic
Director David O Russell hated this daft, tiring political pastiche so much he took his name off the credits
‘American Hustle’ director David O Russell took his name off this goofy, good-hearted but chaotic political satire which he shot way back in 2008 between ‘I Heart Huckabees’ and ‘The Fighter’, and which is only now reaching cinemas. It’s a mess – but a respectable one.
Based on a novel by co-writer Kristin Gore (daughter of Al), ‘Accidental Loves’ rides on the loopy premise that a young woman, Alice (Jessica Biel), ends up with a nail embedded in her head while in the middle of a marriage proposal.Having been refused healthcare, Alice has her cause taken up by thrusting young Washington politican Howard (Jake Gyllenhaal), who she joins in DC with a ragtag bunch of hangers-on, including a priest with a constant hard-on.
‘Accidental Love’ feels a little like ‘I Heart Huckabees’ in its self-conscious anarchy and endless ensemble scenes, although this is a softer, less bold film all round. Few of Gore and co’s observations on the political and media world feel sharp and the misplaced screwball energy is wearying. It’s destined to be more read about than watched.
**** Chris C April 21, 2015
I was a bit put off by the poor reviews, but I enjoyed this somewhat silly film, a few good laughs, particularly the sex scene!
*** Mark C April 15, 2015
Pre-Oscar explosion David O. Russell goes full John Waters here, but left the film after shooting the footage and someone else just cut the movie together. An interesting experiment I'll give it that, but the end result is about as uneven as you would expect. There is a lot of good stuff here though ( Jake Gyllenhaal is amusing ), I'd love to see Russell should come back and do an official directors cut someday.
** ½ Bianca W April 7, 2015
Expected a movie like Valentines Day/Love Actually.. Not Biel's greatest film.. A few laughs.
Cameron F April 1, 2015
David O. Russell is better than this.
** Steven E. Steven E March 25, 2015
Now, I did not think this was nearly as awful as the reviews have made it out to be. It's rough -- sure -- and sits somewhere between I Heart Huckabees and All About Steve. It wants to be as clever Death to Smoochy or Envy but it falls flat in its flimsy satire.
½ * David B March 22, 2015
David O.Russell is a director I've always trusted. He has a history of making well made, engaging movies. This, though, is a trainwreck. The premise is stupid, the script awful, and the acting is appalling. Don't bother watching this, even on a plane. Look out of the window for 100 mins, it'll be more fun.
** Justin A March 21, 2015
This is a movie that's hard to hate. First, the actors; second, the director; and third, the energy. I can definitely see the vision that David O Russell had, but, it's sadly washed away by the poor editing and unfinished shots.. particularly the nail scene, which is a bummer since that's the key scene.. I feel like if this movie was released before obama care and did more sharper editing that it would really have been a quirky and funny look at politics. But its sooooooo 2008 and the fact that it tries to put a "few months ago" logo in the beginning to make it look like it was written that way makes it cheap. And I absolutely hated the end credit sequence, as the studio clearly wanted to erase the back story of what used to be "Nailed" showing the actors having a good time. This is a movie I've been wanting to see for a while, but now that I've seen it, I kind of wished it stayed in the cutting room floor. But the movie is worth it for the performances by jessica biel and Jake Gyllenhaal, and the apperances by paul reubens (pee wee herman) and tracy morgan. Paul Reubens alone is worth seeing it. But don't take it too seriously.
David L March 20, 2015
Aaw, man they dragged poor Jake Gyllenhaal into this, didn't they?
* Steve S March 20, 2015
Unfunny and poor attempt at making a comedic social satire. The decent cast is lost in space.
Shireen H March 19, 2015
Please stop putting Jessica Biel in movies. She can't act.
*** Jimmy H March 18, 2015
Not a great movie, but a cute movie that could be the perfect ice breaker for a first date. I promise you'll have a lot to talk about over an after movie pizza. Jake and Jessica have some chemistry. Some, but not as much as I'd hope for.
½ Daniel L March 17, 2015
Fuck this movie, fuck this mother fucking piece of shit movie.
Two reviews in one day, that's a new record. The story behind this movie is incredible, it went through so much shit, so many changes and the fact that this movie got made is sad. I watched this movie with a slight headache and this movie made it feel worse. This movie literally gave me a fucking migraine. This movies story is fucking ridiculous, it takes place in the 50s, yet they mention shakira and eminem, it's a movie about healthcare yet the tone is happy as hell, there's something here about a moon base. This movie brought me to what I've almost never done before, shut it off. This movie pissed me off. Jessica Biel is so annoying here and she just doesn't shut up, Jake Gyllenhaal went from delivering the best performance of his career to his absolute worst, Tracey Morgan isn't funny, Paul Rubens here but they give him nothing to do. This movie has more angle shots than battlefield earth, it's never funny, bill hader is here for completely no reason. The writing is ungodly stupid, I hated this movie, I really did, this is one of the worst movies I've ever seen, I'm giving it a 0
½ Jennifer N March 15, 2015
Didn't know how to give this movie 0 stars, but it was one of the worst movies I have ever seen. Jessica Biel and Jake Gyllenhaal may have just killed their careers.
*** Dave R March 12, 2015
It was alright had funny moments here and there story was ok even with all the celebs in it could have been a little better