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No one will ever accuse HEAD OVER HEELS ($27) of being great cinema, but as mindless romantic comedies go, this one is good for more than a few laughs and it holds your attention for ninety minutes. HEAD OVER HEELS also proved to be pleasing to the eyes, thanks to a cast featuring five beautiful babes- starting with leading Lady Monica Potter. The premise of HEAD OVER HEELS finds Amanda (Potter), a supposed "plain Jane" art restorer, moving in with four up and coming "super models" after leaving her unfaithful boyfriend. Along with her new roommates, Amanda's new digs also comes with a great view into the apartment Jim Winston (Freddie Prinze Jr.), with whom she is immediately smitten. Playing Cupid, Amanda's roommates give her a makeover the take her along as they crash a party in Jim's apartment. Although Amanda and Jim connect at the party and make a date, things suddenly turn bizarre when she thinks she sees the new man in her life killing one of his party guests. Of course, when the police can't seem to find a shred of evidence to prove that a murder took place, Amanda and her roommates decide to play detective.

HEAD OVER HEELS gently spoofs the REAR WINDOW concept by showing that spying on your neighbors can get you into a whole lot of trouble. However, this film lacks all the finesse and intelligence of a Hitchcock thriller. Additionally, HEAD OVER HEELS also has a very uneven quality because the plot suddenly switches gears and runs off in different direction from which it started. Still, HEAD OVER HEELS features a lot of genuinely funny moments, thanks to Monica Potter and her beautiful female cohorts, all of who brighten up the screen and make the bits of comedic business work. I was especially taken with Potter's humorous talents and would love to see he tackle a better-written comedy- romantic or otherwise. In addition to Potter and Prinze, the cast of HEAD OVER HEELS also features Shalom Harlow, Ivana Milicevic, Sarah O'Hare, Tomiko Fraser, China Chow and Jay Brazeau.

Universal Home Video has made HEAD OVER HEELS available in a 2.35:1 wide screen presentation that has been enhanced for playback on 16:9 displays. The transfer is absolutely first rate, making the most of the film's slick, glossy and colorful cinematography. Sharpness and detail are exactly what one would expect from a brand new movie, especially one produced to be eye candy. There are a few errant shots that look a bit softer than the rest, but there is really nothing worth complaining about. Colors are quite vibrant and at times almost threaten to pop off the screen. Despite the intensity of the surrounding hues, flesh tones appear completely natural and thoroughly appealing. There are no signs of chroma noise or colors bleeding beyond their boundaries during the presentation. Blacks are accurately rendered and the level of shadow detail is just fine. Thanks to clean dual layer authoring, digital compression artifacts never become noticeable.

Although presented with Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack, HEAD OVER HEELS features a pretty standard comedy mix. Overt directional effects are used infrequently in both the forward and rear soundstages, but then again, there are few instances where they are actually are required. Dialogue is natural sounding and is reproduced with excellent intelligibility. Pop music and the film's score are the sonic elements that take the biggest advantage of the Dolby Digital encoding. Both aspects of the music are reproduced cleanly, without harshness at the top, and with a solid bottom end. Speaking of the bottom end, the track has a respectable amount of bass, which keeps everything from sounding hollow. HEAD OVER HEELS also includes a DTS 5.1 channel sound mix, which adds greater clarity and stronger bass to the film's musical component. A French Dolby Digital 5.1 channel track is also encoded onto the DVD, as are English subtitles.

Full motion video, animation and sound enhance the interactive menus. Through the menu system one has access to the standard scene selection and set up features as well as a few extras. HEAD OVER HEELS includes an eleven-minute Spotlight On Location featurette, a theatrical trailer, production notes and cast biographies/filmographies.

HEAD OVER HEELS is an amusing romantic comedy, with a high eye candy quotient for the male members of the audience. Monica Potter and her female co-stars certainly held my attention for the film's full running time. In addition, Universal's DVD looks and sounds terrific, so if you are inclined to pick up the title on disc, you will be more than pleased with the quality of the presentation.


 Head Over Heels


DVD reviews are Copyright 2001 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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