“Some Kind of Beautiful,” about a womanizing British lit professor (Pierce Brosnan) in free fall, is a treadmill sex comedy, huffing and puffing in place until its time is up.
Brosnan’s Richard Haig is the flimsiest of romantic comedy clichés, a classics-lover torn between Kate (Jessica Alba), the hot student he marries and moves to Los Angeles for, and Olivia (Salma Hayek), her hot half sister, whom he realizes he’s more suited for after Kate leaves him.
Simply nothing in Matthew Newman’s misogynistic, lowest-common-denominator screenplay or Tom Vaughn’s paint-by-numbers direction feels legitimate: not the depiction of academia (Haig teaches Byron via self-improvement platitudes), or the farcical setups, or Richard’s rebel attitude and squishy redemption, or his immigration woes in Los Angeles, or even Los Angeles itself. (Everything happens at, yes, the beach.)
Save for Brosnan’s occasionally surfacing natural charm and Hayek’s enthusiastic if fruitless attempt to give comic effervescence to a ridiculous character, the cast and tiresome supporting kooks are flailing victims to a string of hackneyed situations and faux “edgy” humor you wouldn’t find on even the worst episode of “Frasier.”
‘Some Kind of Beautiful’
MPAA rating: R, for language, sexual content, nudity, drug use.
Running time: 1 hour, 41 minutes.
Playing: Laemmle’s NoHo 7, North Hollywood. Also on VOD.