Film Review: ‘Accidental Love’ – still fresh after seven years on the shelf

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‘Accidental Love,’ shot in 2008 but not released until now, is not as bad as expected considering it’s been on the shelf for 7 years.

Why did it take this long to be released? During the making of the film, when it was called “Nailed”, “Accidental Love” encountered financial difficulties (production was shut down four times in 2008 as the crew was not getting paid). After several production delays, Director David O. Russell (American Hustle, Silver Linings Playbook) disassociated himself from the film. He then quit and the studio took over and finished the film, but it’s a film that almost hits the nail in the head in it’s humor and story. m

Rollerskating waitress in a small Indiana town Alice (Jessica Biel) literally has a nail fly into her head at a local restaurant just as her boyfriend, percentage quoting policeman Scott (James Mardsen) is proposing to her. Alice isn’t insured so the local hospital won’t remove the nail from her head, which causes her to have extreme mood swings. And she’s too old to be insured under her parents (Beverly D’Angelo and Steve Boles). Even the local town veterinarian, her Aunt Rita (Kirstie Alley), tries to take the nail out but is unsuccessful. So after seeing a campaign commercial on television about their local Congressman Howard Birdwell (Jake Gyllenhaal) who urges his constituents to visit him in Washington, D.C., anytime, Alice does just that. She’s accompanied by other people who aren’t insured but who have strange and unusual medical injuries (including a man with a long-term erection and another man with an introverted arse). They meet with Birdwell, and eventually Alice and Birdwell fall for each other, but in between this we are treated to a funny plot that involves a murderous female Representative (Catherine Keneer) and her loyal assistant (Paul Reubens) who are pushing for a bill to fund a base on the moon, (but what is obviously needed more is more money for healthcare), girl scouts who are promised a visit by Shakira, and Birdwell who takes part in an all-male Shaiman Circle to find his inner man. Yes, this all takes place in the film’s 100 minute running time.

The humor in “Accidental Love” is quite hit or miss – jokes about men’s baskets and bowel movements – “It’s like a fantastic number 2,” litter the movie. But the film’s cute and original opening sequence (Americana at 100% full speed – Chevy’s, drive-in restaurant, hamburgers, shakes) set to the tune of “Mr. Sandman” does not sustain itself throughout the film. “Accidental Love” gets sillier and sillier and less funny, continuing until it’s cute but predictable, and unbelievable (Alice gives a speech to Congress) ending. It’s a film that pokes extreme fun at the lack of universal healthcare in America, and it’s quite fun to watch. “Accidental Love” was co-written by Russell (who appears in the credits as Stephen Greene) and Al Gore’s daughter Kristin.