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Julia Roberts hits the screen all high drama in this way too spirited version of a true story. She plays that Hollywood sure-fire-box-office-pull, the "lady with every odd against her pulls through to help others while secretly helping herself" chick.

Awe! Puke-o-rama central, okay. Geeze. You know Julia's real life is way more interesting then this totally predictable jaunt through Erin Brokovichcabbage's short story. take away all the hype and you have a telegraphed story with a dynamo (Roberts) moving the whole carcass along.

Julia likes taking on these pull at your hearts scripts, that let her show her comedic skills and flash those werewolf pearly whites a lot. She's kind of a Meg Ryan lite. Hence her latest bubble fest, Erin Brokovich, is just that, a chick flick to the tenth power. She shines in a sea of coal dust.

EB's story goes...Erin Brokovitch is (was) a poor overworked single mom, who luck is so down and out Robert Downey Jr's calling HER a loser-if you get my drift. Finding herself also jobless, Erin begs her attorney Ed (Albert "Let's us get a pint, aye" Finney) for a job. Edward owes her since he didn't get her a cent from her lawsuit. So, he gives her a secretarial job in his law firm.

Faster then Guinness froth settles, Erin finds some medical bill receipts where they ought not to be... nestled into real estate files. Hmm, very suspicious! As she turns into a super sleuth with cleavage. Natch, the townsfolk who know the mysterious answers, are unwilling to open up. They're leery of telling their stories of whoa. That is till Erin's neighbor and new sidekick George (Aaron "now I'm fat, now I'm not" Eckhart) AKA concerned biker-dude, assists. Then they spill there guts like a slash victim.

You know not for nothing I always hear about these stories where someone had to pry the locals ino speaking up about some awful contamination or mass-murdering virus from the local plant! An outsider comes in and "uncovers" the big secret everyone in town discusses at the bar- and the townsfolk get millions of dollars. Not because they have any balls mind you! They would have gone on contently with their radiation treatments and altering junior's sweaters for that pesky third arm till the end of time. Arrgh. People if you don't agree with something-SAY something. If my kid grew an extra thumb from his jaw due to "the man" polluting my water supply you'd know about it...everyone would know about it.

I just didn't care for this. I suppose if you liked last years Civil Action (same story different cast of "leery townsfolk") you'll enjoy this. Admittedly though, I do like Julia Roberts. She's uber-perky, beanpole thin, and resembles a Pez dispenser, but she still seems down to Earth. Like you'd run into her at the dry cleaners, screaming at the guy because the wasabi stain didn't come what's she gonna wear to the award show de Jour tonight-WHAT!? Too bad her brother, Eric took a speeding exit stage left into loserville. He was a great actor and super swell on the retina. Now he's got a Ronnie Wood look about him. Ickie poo-poo.

Snack Recommendation: Biscuits and gravee

Starring: Julia Roberts, Aaron Eckhart, and Albert Finney.

Directed by: Stephen Sodderbergh


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