‘Fool’s Gold’ (2008) Review

Newly divorced Tess is eager to put some distance between herself and her treasure-seeking husband, Finn but her plans to move back to Chicago and finish her degree are railroaded when she discovers the boat she planned to sell for the money has sunk to the bottom of the ocean. Without any other options, Tess agrees to join Finn on his hunt for the Aurelia, a ship lost at sea in 1715 that was said to be carrying treasure from a marriage dowry. They persuade Tess’s millionaire boss, Nigel Honeycutt, and his daughter to join in the hunt, as they need funding. There is also the added complication of Finn owning quite a bit of money to a violent rapper, Bigg Bunny, who hires his own man, Finn’s former mentor, to find the treasure first.

Given the success of How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days in 2003, it made perfect sense for Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson to team up again for another romantic comedy. Despite it not being as memorable as their first film together, Fool’s Gold did open number one at the box office and end up with $111 million worldwide. It’s been a while since I’ve watched How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days but I do distinctly remember enjoying it more than this film. Don’t get me wrong, Fool’s Gold is not a complete disaster. It’s hard to hate a movie starring McConaughey because he’s so damn charming.

Kate Hudson has never been a favorite of mine, but it’s hard to deny that she and McConaughey have chemistry even though Hudson seems absolutely bored here. And it’s their chemistry that keeps Fool’s Gold from completely sinking under the weight of its silly script. Kevin Hart plays Bigg Bunny in such a subdued way than what I am used to now. That’s not a bad thing but he wasn’t exactly the kind of antagonist that made me scared for our leads. I will always love Donald Sutherland in any film, though I found myself quite annoyed with his perky dumb daughter played ultra-perky and ultra-dumb by Alexis Dziena.

My issue with the movie is that I had a hard time caring about any of the characters. They were poorly constructed and not even the better actors in the movie could have given them much life. Yes, there is some humor but genuinely funny moments are few and far between in this movie. I honestly don’t mind somewhat ridiculous premises in romantic comedies as long as they’re executed well and have some semblance of originality, but Fool’s Gold feels like a movie that’s been done before and done way better. My initial gut feeling was to award it 2.5 stars but I docked it a half star after sleeping on it for a couple of days. I love you, McConaughey. Your genuine himbo-ness while you walk around wet and shirtless for the majority of the movie is worthy of at least one star. Sutherland’s presence gets the other.

Author: Romona Comet

"I'm probably watching a rom-com right now."