Little Black Book
There's an old saying that goes "let sleeping dogs lie." In this case, the saying may also apply to past relationships.
For Stacy Holt (Brittany Murphy), an associate producer for a trashy daytime talk show, the connection with her live-in boyfriend seems to be missing something. Granted, Derek (Ron Livingston) is a busy hockey scout who spends a lot of time on the road for the New Jersey Devils. But that's not all that's bugging her. It's his general lack of commitment--and a taped cardboard box in the closet marked PRIVATE.
After Stacy voices her concerns to Barb (Holly Hunter), the recently jilted coworker baits the worried girl into doing some fact-finding behind the scenes. When the opportunity presents itself, Stacy takes a quick peek in Derek's Palm Pilot. What she finds is the names, numbers and addresses of past lovers she knew nothing about, and a whole lot more.
Pretending to do research for an upcoming Kippie Kann (Kathy Bates) show, Stacy sets up interviews with each of Derek's exes. During their discussions, she cleverly discovers some very current tidbits about their relationships with her lover.
Unfortunately, the situation becomes complicated when Stacy forms a real bond with one of the women (Julianne Nicholson). Afraid to jeopardize their budding friendship, she is now the one who omits telling the truth.
Written by Melissa Carter, the screenplay seems to understand females' therapeutic need to wallow in a really sad song during times of distress. That awareness, along with moments of comedy and the turn of events when Stacy meets the exes gives some entertainment value to this film.
However, for family viewing, the messages around being honest with others and yourself may prove to be too subtle. Instead, suspicions raised about former girlfriends may result in an increase of Palm-peeking episodes, rather than encouraging open communication between couples.
Nor does it persuade girls to open up with one another, because many of the women in the story are portrayed as sneaky, self-absorbed and sometimes even outright ruthless in their interactions with one another. Frank sexual discussions and repeated profanities are also employed in the script.
Male audience members, on other hand, might only be encouraged to update the security measures on their Little Black Books. Or make better use of the delete function.