'The Interpreter' Translates Perfectly

April 22, 2005 — -- Now in theaters: "The Interpreter," and "A Lot Like Love."

'The Interpreter'

Three things make "The Interpreter" a must-see movie:

Reason No. 1: This is the first feature ever shot on location at the United Nations. You'll see the General Assembly recast with extras, and it's awesome. Nicole Kidman is a translator who overhears an assassination threat. Sean Penn is the Secret Service agent assigned to investigate. They're Oscar winners, excellent actors, and reasons No. 2 and 3 to see this film. They turn in excellent performances.

Kidman is followed, threatened and ends up on a Brooklyn bus with two suspects the Secret Service is tailing. Directed with all the right moves by fellow Oscar winner Sidney Pollack, "The Interpreter" is grown-up, smart and serious suspense. Grade: B+

'A Lot Like Love'

A lot of 12- and 13-year-old girls are going to want to see this movie, and I'm not sure they should.

Ashton Kutcher and Amanda Peet meet on a plane to New York. Five minutes into the film they have sex. They even don't know each other's name. They meet again, and down four shots of bourbon each, plus a pitcher of beer.

Later, they're caught by a National Park Ranger in the back of her station wagon. But none of this is crucial to the film, which eventually becomes an awfully sweet romantic comedy.

Kutcher has a lot of 'tweener fans. To be fair, this PG-13 movie isn't aimed at them. But should you make a film 11-year-old girls are going to want to see when you wouldn't let your 11-year-old see it?

I kept asking myself, would it still be the same movie if Amanda Peet didn't smoke throughout the film? Yes. Would it be the same if they didn't get drunk? Yes.

I still liked "A Lot Like Love." Kutcher surprised the heck out of me. When we discover his brother is deaf, it's handled so well that it told me this was more than the usual romantic comedy. And it is. Unfortunately, in more ways than one. Grade: C+

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