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Originally published September 3, 2009 at 3:02 PM | Page modified September 3, 2009 at 3:08 PM

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Movie review

'All About Steve': another puzzling career choice for Bullock

"All About Steve," a romantic comedy directed by Phil Traill, is a well-meaning disaster, and yet another strange career choice for Sandra Bullock.

Seattle Times movie critic

Movie review 1.5 stars

"All About Steve," with Sandra Bullock, Thomas Haden Church, Bradley Cooper, Ken Jeong. Directed by Phil Traill, from a screenplay by Kim Barker. 98 minutes. Rated PG-13 for sexual content including innuendos. Several theaters; see Page 14.

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Fasten your seat belts; this one's a bumpy ride.

Sorry; I felt a sporting obligation to make an "All About Eve" reference. Alas, other than its title, "All About Steve" has nothing whatsoever in common with the Bette Davis classic. For one thing, "All About Eve" is a good movie.

Directed by Phil Traill, "All About Steve" is a well-meaning disaster, and yet another strange career choice for Sandra Bullock, who's quickly erasing the goodwill "The Proposal" earned her earlier this summer. Here she plays Mary Horowitz, a fast-talking, fact-spouting crossword-puzzle constructor and borderline nut case who meets a fellow named Steve (Bradley Cooper, of "The Hangover") and instantly falls in love with him.

So, we watch Mary frantically following Steve all over the country (he's a cameraman who travels to cover news stories), waving and running and shrieking like she just got bitten by something, and it's just kind of embarrassing. It's a relief, if something of a strain on credulity, when Mary falls into an abandoned mine (!) and at least has to stop running for a while.

Thomas Haden Church has a few funny moments as doltish newscaster Hartman Hughes, and Bullock occasionally lets her naturally appealing persona peek through. But "All About Steve" is just the latest entry on a long list of movies that aren't even close to the great screwball comedy Bullock is capable of making. May it be the last.

Moira Macdonald: 206-464-2725 or mmacdonald@seattletimes.com

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