"Fools Rush In" is the kind of love story that Hollywood does better than anywhere else when it puts its mind to it. It has magic, glamour and romance yet never forgets that it's taking place in a recognizably real world. It also represents a major breakthrough for its stars, Matthew Perry (of TV's "Friends") and radiantly beautiful Salma Hayek. It's the perfect Valentine's Day release.
Subsequently, Alex and his partner-pal (Jon Tenney) get their club project underway, and Isabel, who left Alex without so much as her last name or a phone number, is out of Alex's life until she appears three months later with the news that she is pregnant and he is the father of the child she is carrying. Alex launches on a "woman's right to choose" speech when she cuts him off, saying she intends to keep the child, expects nothing from him whatsoever but feels that it is the only honorable thing to inform that he will be a father.
Screenwriter Katherine Reback, who wrote the film's original story with Joan Taylor, director Tennant and their gifted and charismatic stars take it from there with tremendous skill and charm. "Fools Rush In," which dares to take the time needed to set up its story properly, accrues substance and edge with the interplay of the cultures represented by Alex's WASP background and Isabel's proud Mexican American heritage. Distant from his own parents, Alex is told by Isabel that for her, "family is not something you put up with on a national holiday." Even so, she does feel that her relatives need to meet him at least once. You can be sure one thing leads to another. Reback's script has real substance and perception, with Alex and Isabel emerging as individuals of depth and dimension, and their story is told with humor, passion and wit. "Fools Rush In," a film as good-looking and engaging as its stars, invites us to consider how well many people really know each other when they get married--and how crucial trust and candor are at any stage of any relationship.
Fools Rush In, 1997. PG-13, for sensuality and brief language. A Columbia Pictures presentation. Director Andy Tennant. Producer Doug Draizin. Executive producer Michael McDonnell. Screenplay by Katherine Reback; story by Joan Taylor and Reback. Cinematographer Robbie Greensberg. Editor Roger Bondelli. Costumes Kimberly A. Tillman. Music Alan Silvestri. Production designer Edward Pisoni. Art director David Crank. Set decorator Leslie Morales. Running time: 1 hour, 49 minutes. Matthew Perry as Alex Whitman. Salma Hayek as Isabel Fuentes. Jon Tenney as Jeff. Jill Clayburgh as Nan Whitman.