When her boyfriend leaves town on a trip, television producer Stacy raids his Palm Pilot and interviews all of his past girlfriends. The prying leads to public humiliation, though, when Stacy's friend puts all the prying on live television.
This movie starring Brittany Murphy as an ambitious associate producer of a trashy television talk show aspires to be a dewy-eyed self-help fable for ambitious young women folded into a mean-spirited satire of Jerry Springer-style reality programming. Offering few laughs and a climactic scene of breathtaking cruelty, the plot-heavy movie draws you against your will into its malignant force field. Almost from the beginning, the film's sugary and rancid strains work against each other. To put it another way, "Little Black Book" would like to be a wised-up but still starry-eyed "Working Girl" and a more acerbic "Broadcast News." In trying to be both things at once, it can't hold a candle to either forerunner. Batting her large vacant eyes and sucking her lower lip into a pout, Ms. Murphy suggests a dumbed-down Meg Ryan with a gloss of Melanie Griffith. — Stephen Holden
2004-08-06 | Stephen Holden | Read the New York Times Review of Little Black Book