“Accidental Love” is the rebirth of a David O Russel film titled “Nailed” that started filming way back in 2008.
The film came to a halt in 2010 during production when a lawsuit emerged involving one of the films investors. The filmmakers should have foreseen this as a red flag. Eight years later, “Nailed” was reincarnated as ‘Accidental Love’ – an unsurprising giant flop.
The film follows the story of a roller-skating waitress, Alice (Jessica Biel), who is on a date with her love interest Scott (James Marsden). Just as Scott is about propose, a freak accident occurs and Alice gets a nail logged into her head. She is rushed to the hospital where her new fiancé and family are told that they require $150 000 before they can operate on Alice. Neither she nor her family have the money to fit the bill. Luckily, the nail is firmly in place and she is not in any real threat other than possible side effects that include unexpected mood swings, drooling and random sexual urges. Alice catches the next flight with her friends Keyshawn (Tracy Morgan) and Reverend Norm (Kurt Fuller) to Washington to seek help from Congressman Howard Birdwell (Jake Gyllenhaal). When she finally meets him she agrees to help him launch a lunar military base bill and in return he will pay for her operation.
The narrative is filled with clichés and is clearly outdated. The writers should have set it today’s world. The film feels like a rom com but does not have the ingredients to accept it as palatable. The camera work (quick to and fro movements) did not fit in with this genre of film. However, I do take my hat off to the production designer John Swihart. The sets and locations complimented the era which the film is set in, even though I do not agree it was the best choice of era for this film.
Biel and Gyllenhaal came across as flat characters with no real emotional hurdles to overcome, but I guess that is because of the poor narrative. The supporting cast had no real motivation to exist other than throw silly jokes around here and there. Overall, the film is pretentious and the notion of someone living with a nail in their head is farfetched. The film doesn’t have enough oomph to support the notion or execute it as humorous or believable.