05/08/15 8:00am
05/08/2015 8:00 AM |


Hot Pursuit
Directed by Anne Fletcher
Opens May 8

Anne Fletcher is partially responsible for some of my favorite moments in popular culture over the past couple of decades. She helped choreograph the musical sequence in the underrated Danny Boyle flop A Life Less Ordinary; she worked on the sterling Buffy the Vampire Slayer musical episode,  “Once More with Feeling”; she also contributed to the retro stylings of Catch Me If You Can and Down with Love and (presumably) the dancier moments of Walk Hard and 40-Year-Old Virgin. So much joy in a single career!

As a director, though: yeesh. It’s not necessarily that Hot Pursuit is any worse than 27 Dresses, The Proposal, or The Guilt Trip. It might even be a little better, with Reese Witherspoon getting a few laughs as a diminutive, uptight cop in over her head escorting a hostile witness (Sofia Vergara), the wife of an executed drug dealer, to possible safety (as they’re mistakenly tagged as fugitives, news reports keep underestimating Witherspoon’s height and overestimating Vergara’s age). It’s certainly easy to like, or at least easy to want to like: here is a female buddy comedy also directed by a woman, in that sense one-upping the last big female buddy comedy, 2013’s The Heat. That’s the only place it manages that feat; for a choreographer, Fletcher has real trouble rooting her movie in physical space.