'Beauty & the Briefcase'
(Hilary Duff, Jaime Pressly, Jennifer Coolidge, et al / DVD / PG-13 / 2011 / IMAGE Entertainment)
Overview: Hilary Duff (A Cinderella Story) shines in this sparkling romantic comedy based on the book Diary of a Working Girl by Daniella Brodsky. Lane, a fashion journalist, gets the assignment of a lifetime when Cosmopolitan magazine hires her to write a story about finding love in the workplace. Posing as a corporate assistant, Lane finds herself torn between the office's eligible men in suits and a dashing stranger (Chris Marmack, The O.C.) who sweeps her off her feet.
DVD Verdict: This is a Hillary Duff made-for-TV movie, so I definitely didn't come into 'Beauty & the Briefcase' with particularly high expectations! However, they were met, and even exceeded some - for a romantic comedy. Working as an investigative journalist for Cosmo, Duff joins an investment banking firm to find an eligible bachelor in New York.
There are some cute moments about having unrealistic expectations for a man. As with most romantic comedies, it's lighthearted and cheesy. Yet, unlike many, the protagonists - particularly Duff - come off as relatively normal, likable, and not pathetically desperate.
Sure, they have their quirks and faults, but I never felt annoyed by their characters but rather sorry for them. Fun for date nights with a significant other.
However, I did think the subplot with Liam was distracting. First of all, it was too obvious Duff's character wouldn't end up with him - he was TOO perfect. More importantly, it took time and attention away from the idea of dating in the business world. This theme could have been played up a lot more than what is actually captured in the movie.
In fact, there are really 2 guys in the office who are really even "contenders." Instead, I could easily have imagined the "Liam" character changed into one of Duff's coworkers, but one who it turns out was engaged in shady stock deals or something. [EJ] This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.77:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.