I get the distinct feeling I’ve seen Fool’s Gold before. Tell me if this premise seems even remotely familiar to you: A reckless loser with a hot girlfriend, convinces her to join him on a perilous adventure searching for buried treasure on the ocean floor. Need some help jogging your memory banks? Try the 2005 disaster that was Into the Blue. True, that wasn’t a romantic comedy, but it does follow the same storyline.
The only variable that could potentially differentiate these two movies is Fool’s Gold actually has actors starring in it that can act (or at least have shown the ability to act believably). Matthew McConaughey, who has done good films like We Are Marshall and A Time to Kill, replaces Paul Walker and Kate Hudson, who stood out in Almost Famous, replaces Jessica Alba. Yet even though there is so much more upside, this isn’t much better than the mess of a movie it copies.
The why is easy to quantify. The snap and sizzle that McConaughey and Hudson shared in How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days isn’t present in Fool’s Gold. The fault for that lies with the way John Claflin, Daniel Zelman and Andy Tennant (who also directed) set the movie up. Too much emphasis is put squarely on the disagreement side of Benjamin (McConaughey) and Tess’s (Hudson) relationship and not enough on the cutesy fun side of things. It’s obviously a by-product of the fact that our leads are divorced – from each other. Divorce isn’t exactly a comedy gem type of topic, and great pains must be taken to make it fun. Joking about how slovenly someone is and then remarking about how great the sex was is hardly a concerted effort at wit.
When it became evident, that this tit-for-tat banter wasn’t overly entertaining, the writing trio decided to throw in a couple of gay guys and a dumber-than-dirt, rich bimbo (played by Alexis Dziena) to fill in for some laughs. Note to anyone with the power to make a difference – stereotypical fags aren’t funny anymore. They haven’t been for some time, hence the reason Will & Grace went the way of the dinosaur. And in another sad attempt to gloss over the lack of substance, as many scenes as possible (and there are a lot) are shot with Mr. McConaughey in some form of undress. Yes, he’s handsome and in great shape, I get it. But for Christ’s sake, is it really necessary for me, or anyone else in the audience, to be beaten repetitively about the face and body with it? Even boxers get a minute break in-between rounds . . .
So interestingly enough, the more I write this review, the more I am inclined to think that perhaps Fool’s Gold is a worse version of the movie it takes most of its cues from. McConaughey and Hudson are reduced to mannequins – pale and lifeless. The sexiness factor is a losing proposition too – Alba is 100-times hotter than Hudson (and as a heterosexual man, I don’t care which guy is better looking). The adventure they’re on is about as exciting as getting a catheter shoved up your shaft. The secondary characters are cartoony at best; the villain is a bad guy rapper named Bigg Bunny (Kevin Hart) and Donald Sutherland plays a pathetic billionaire who gets suckered into financing a treasure hunt. Puleaze!
Verdict: You’re a fool to think there is any gold to be found in this shipwreck.