Accidental Love

Year: 2015
Production Co: K JAM Media
Director: Stephen Greene (David O Russell)
Writer: Kristin Gore/Matthew Silverstein/Dave Jeser
Cast: Jessica Biel, Jake Gyllenhaal, James Marsden, Kurt Fuller, Tracy Morgan, Catherine Keener, Paul Ruebens, Bill Hader, Kirstie Alley, James Brolin

Like the only real reason to watch Heaven's Gate is because it destroyed a director and almost a studio, and Cutthroat Island because it destroyed a director and a genre, the only reason to watch Accidental Love is to see what kind of thing a prestigious, A list director like David O Russell would abandon and disown.

It's the frankly bizarre story of a young woman (Jessica Biel, who hasn't been in anything in a long time) who gets a nail embedded in her head in an accident. Suddenly a changed woman, she ups and leaves her small town cop boyfriend (James Mardsen) to seek out and lobby a junior congressman in Washington (Jake Gyllenhaal) for better health care for people in her position.

At least, that's the set-up. She has a priest (Kurt Fuller) and a sardonic friend (Tracy Morgan) in tow as she crashes the halls of power, ends up falling straight into bed with the congressman, becomes a political pawn for a ruthless senior politician (Catherine Keener) to force a bill backing a military moon base through congress and falls in with a group of politically militant girl scouts in the process.

Yes, it's as insane as it sounds, and from Paul Ruebens' sly political aide to a mens' consciousness raising group in the jungle, it only gets nuttier the longer it goes on.

Apparently all the footage shot is Russell's but the film ran into money problems, many of the cast and crew – including several of the stars and director – walking off over money. Russell left without completing an edit, and when the financier got the film back in a legal ruling he hired an editor to deliver a cut.

Russell's original intent was apparently a political satire about health care, but the final product is a love story with more subplots and thematic elements than you can believe fit in a 90 minute movie. There are a couple of laughs but the film in its entirety makes little sense and has little point. The only reason to watch it is to appreciate the peek behind the curtain of how Hollywood works.

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