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The Accidental Husband (2008)

My rating: 3.5 out of 5 · Experience it yourself

Jeffrey Dean Morgan plays Patrick, a NYC firefighter whose engagement is shattered when his fiancée takes relationship advice from a popular radio talk show host, Emma (Uma Thurman). Angered by the breakup, Patrick enlists the help of a computer whiz who hacks into a New York State database to register him as betrothed to Emma (who is herself engaged) without her knowledge. He then attempts use the marriage as a way to exact comedic revenge for the damage done to his previous relationship with Sofia (Justina Machado).

I liked Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s character in this film, and hope to see more of his films soon. He comes off as quite likeable and had my sympathy throughout. I also liked that, though he plays a soccer-playing firefighter, his character stretches the stereotype and as a result is more enjoyable to watch.

Uma Thurman as Emma seemed a bit dry to me, and while I liked that her radio persona wasn’t pushed too far into bitterness or anger (presumably to keep the film from becoming too dark), I wondered if those attributes would have made her character more engaging. Regardless, the role doesn’t have enough backstory behind it to make it believable. Thurman’s best parts are Emma’s weakest, for example when she gives into Patrick’s playful spirit and lets him show her a good time.

Richard (Colin Firth), Emma’s fiancé, gives credible force to the story by playing a smart, plugged-in lover watching his love interest slowly fall for another man. I was impressed with the fact that Richard is easy to sympathize with, a twist that’s not found often enough in romantic comedies.

The film does fall a little flat in both staying power and emotion, and feels extremely rushed in parts, with at least one awkward edit that made me laugh out loud.

While I don’t think it’s worth going out of your way to see, The Accidental Husband is worth a watch if you’re in the mood for a love story and have seen all the good ones already.