After being set up with Steve, a news cameraman, on a blind date, Mary becomes instantly infatuated. Her intensity prompts Steve to end the date prematurely by making up an excuse about work. In an attempt to be nice about it, Steve claims it would be great to have her out on the road before he leaves. Mary takes this quite literally and sets off to track down Steve across the country, much to Steve’s horror.
Sandra! What are you doing, honey? Why are you in this movie? You had The Proposal and The Blind Side in 2009. Did you really need this? Although I suppose since this was filmed in 2007… I can’t hold it against her too much. The studios saw an opportunity to make some money by releasing it in 2009 and I can’t blame them. It wasn’t necessarily a hit (I don’t think) but it did make $40 million.
That being said, if you’ve read any of my Sandra Bullock reviews you know I love Sandy B. She’s one of my favorite actresses. In All About Steve, she plays Mary Horowitz. Mary creates crossword puzzles for a living and has a non-existent social life due to her awkwardness and inability to stop talking. She also lives at home and is set up on a blind date by her parents. When she meets Steve (Bradley Cooper), Mary is instantly… obsessed. To the point where her next crossword puzzle is titled “All About Steve” where every clue is about, you guessed it, Steve. This gets her fired from the newspaper so Mary thinks it would be a good idea to follow Steve while he’s working because obviously, he’s head over heels in love with her after only having known her for twenty minutes.
Mary is a problem. A big problem. Steve tells her straight out to go home, that he doesn’t want her following him, but her own denial and some scheming by news reporter Hartman Hughes (Thomas Haden Church) leads her to believe he’s just too scared to open up his heart and she should keep pursuing him at all costs. It’s actually quite frightening. All About Steve really tries to endear Mary to us. She’s quirky! She’s sweet! She wears red rain boots all. the. time. because she knows who she is! But honestly, even Mary’s most genuine moments don’t make up for her persistent perusal of Steve, even after he’s told her to his face that she needs to stop stalking him. How does she not get it? Because this is Sandra Bullock, I can see why it would be easy for audiences to sympathize with her, but even with Bullock’s innate charm, I was cringing more than I was fawning.
The movie itself feels very incohesive. Mary ping pongs around, following Steve as he and his crew travel to the next big news story. She grabs a ride from two strangers (Katy Mixon and DJ Qualls) who immediately find Mary charming and completely sane. And then there’s the matter of the ground opening up into an abandoned mine, which Mary falls into while running to Steve across the field, etc., etc., etc. There simply didn’t feel like there was enough story to work with based on Mary’s obsession alone so they added in a few random scenes, like a tornado, to get to the 99-minute mark.
All About Steve is just a lazy attempt at comedy and an even lazier attempt at romance. Do I think it was Sandra’s worst performance of her career? I don’t know, simply because I haven’t seen every single performance of her career. But honestly, she’s the only reason this movie got one star at all. Despite the unsavory nature of the movie itself, it’s still Sandra Bullock and she’s still immensely watchable even when the movie is not. Did that make any sense? Eh. Don’t watch this one.