America’s Sweethearts (2001)

America's Sweethearts (2001)

Taglines: A comedy about celebrity, family and other forms of insanity.

America’s favorite couple, in movies as well as in real life, has broken up: Gwen has fallen in love with Latin actor Hector, Eddie can’t take it no more and has taken quite some time off in the lush gardens of a leading wellness guru. But there is a problem: The latest movie of Gwen & Eddie (“Time over Time”) is being held hostage by its director Hal Weidmann. His only request is that it is shown to the press first, not even producer and studio boss David Kingman may take a look at it.

Kingman now entrusts PR wizard Lee Philips, whom he just had fired, to organize a press junket that none of the journalists will ever forget – just to distract the press from the fact that the film itself won’t be shown at all. Therefore, Lee somehow has to bring Gwen and Eddie back together, at least for that one weekend, in a lonely hotel resort in the Nevada desert. Not quite everything works out the way Lee wanted it to, since Gwen’s sister and assistant Kiki also has a mind of her own.

America’s Sweethearts is a 2001 American romantic comedy film directed by Joe Roth and written by Billy Crystal and Peter Tolan. It stars Julia Roberts, Billy Crystal, John Cusack and Catherine Zeta-Jones, with Hank Azaria, Stanley Tucci, Seth Green, Alan Arkin and Christopher Walken and Scot Zeller in smaller roles.

America’s Sweethearts (2001)

About the Story

Film publicist Lee Phillips (Billy Crystal) is tasked with promoting a film featuring movie stars Gwen Harrison (Catherine Zeta-Jones) and Eddie Thomas (John Cusack). His job is complicated by the fact that the eccentric director of the film, Hal Weidmann (Christopher Walken), refuses to show him a cut of the film “Time After Time” and demands the first viewing take place at a press junket.

To promote the film, Lee decides to focus on the two stars: Gwen and Eddie, once known as “America’s Sweethearts”. Unfortunately, they are now going through an ugly split. As a result of Gwen’s affair with Hector (Hank Azaria), Eddie has an emotional breakdown and is at a New Age retreat. Lee decides that his best chance to promote the film is to reunite the couple.

He tries to get them to attend the junket, playing on Gwen’s ego by telling her she will look better to the press and her fans if she attends (and she will be able to serve Eddie with divorce papers). Lee bribes the retreat owner with a car to convince Eddie to come. Gwen’s sister and personal assistant, Kiki (Julia Roberts), and Gwen’s lover, Hector (Hank Azaria), are also involved. When Eddie sees Kiki at the junket she has lost weight and is now physically attractive.

America's Sweethearts (2001)

As the junket begins, Eddie and Gwen are forced together as well as Kiki and Hector. Gwen encourages Kiki to be her go-between with Eddie so she can have some alone time with Hector. Eddie and Kiki begin to warm to each other. At first, Gwen is oblivious, but eventually discovers Kiki’s feelings for Eddie.

Out of her own desire to maintain her career by convincing the press that they are trying to reconcile, Gwen tries to prevent a blossoming relationship between Kiki and Eddie with her manipulation. She succeeds in hurting Kiki’s feelings and causing her to eat again. However, Gwen’s behavior enrages Eddie and he sees his marriage for what it really is inside. On top of the hotel roof, he admits to Lee that he’s in love with Kiki and has always liked her for the selfless and kind person she is.

He also believes it wouldn’t matter because he lost his only chance with her because of Gwen’s shallow and callous behavior. Realizing this along with how unhappy Eddie was with his marriage, Lee encourages him to tell Kiki and end his marriage to Gwen anyway. Weidmann’s helicopter arrives on the scene with the film for everyone to watch.

America's Sweethearts Movie Poster (2001)

America’s Sweethearts (2001)

Directed by: Joe Roth
Starring: Julia Roberts, Billy Crystal, Catherine Zeta-Jones, John Cusack, Hank Azaria, Stanley Tucci, Christopher Walken, Alan Arkin, Seth Green, Scot Zeller
Screenplay by: Billy Crystal, Peter Tolan
Production Design by: Garreth Stover
Cinematography by: Phedon Papamichael
Film Editing by: Stephen A. Rotter
Costume Design by: Ellen Mirojnick
Set Decoration by: Larry Dias
Art Direction by: Chris Cornwell, Denny Dugally
Music by: James Newton Howard
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for language, some crude and sexual humor.
Distributed by: Columbia Pictures
Release Date: July 20, 2001