‘Accidental Love’: Unfinished Jessica Biel film should have stayed that way

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There’s a reason Jake Gyllenhaal and Jessica Biel look so young in “Accidental Love.”

They made this movie seven years ago.

The story behind “Accidental Love” is weirder and definitely more interesting than the movie itself.

Based on a novel by Kristin Gore (Al’s daughter) titled “Sammy’s Hill,” the production was titled “Nailed” when director David O. Russell (“Three Kings”) and the cast assembled for filming in 2008.

Production was shut down more than a dozen times when the financial backers failed to make payments on time. Cast member James Caan quit the film early on. (Russell has a history of run-ins with actors, from George Clooney to Lily Tomlin to Jude Law). Russell finally walked away and successfully lobbied to have his name removed from the credits.

The patched-together “finished” product was released on VOD earlier this year, and it’s getting a one-show-only showcase at Facets Cinematheque on Friday.

As for the movie: It’s an unmitigated disaster, not even worth a spin as a curiosity piece.

Biel plays Alice, a sweet, roller-skating waitress who gets shot in the head with a nail gun during a dinner with her fiancé (James Marsden). The nail remains in Alice’s head because she doesn’t have the health care coverage or the cash to pay for surgery. Also, the nail in Alice’s head turns her into something of a sex maniac.


Off we go to Washington, D.C., where Alice takes her case to Congress. She meets and hooks up with Gyllenhaal’s congressman, who’s nuts; bonds with the Girl Scouts and with a preacher who is in a perpetual state of um, excitement, and butts heads with Catherine Keener’s politician, who wants to construct a base on the moon. And there’s other stuff, including Tracy Morgan as a guy with an unfortunate condition, but let’s just move forward, what do you say?

The satire is broad and forced and unfunny, there’s no cadence to the setups and visual punch lines, and the likable cast is hopelessly lost.

Some disasters should remain forgotten.

[s3r star=1/4]

Alchemypresents a film directed by Stephen Greeneand written byKristin Gore, Matthew Silverstein and Dave Jeser, based on Gore’s novel “Sammy’s Hill.”Running time: 100minutes. Rated PG-13 (for sexual contact and language).Available on demand and screening at 11:30 p.m. Friday at Facets Cinematheque.

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