Not quite sure at whom tepid comedy drama Lessons in Love * is aimed. Called Some Kind of Beautiful in the US (both titles are, frankly, shit), Pierce Brosnan tries to find his comic balance as a philandering Cambridge lecturer – in Romantic poetry, of course – who takes up with a comely American student (Jessica Alba) and moves to California only to fall in love with her fiery older sister (Salma Hayek, ay caramba, she’s such a jalapeno hot mama, no?). Aye, there’s the rub – and, like a sticky marinade, Pierce certainly rubs himself all over this soapily-directed misfire.
Instead of going for knockabout farce, the film tries to look for something deeper while ignoring its character development and making sure Alba and Hayek show off their physical attributes more than any acting, which is reduced to hysterical shouting and mock-exasperation at the untameable ego of Brosnan. He grins and mugs throughout, hoping that flashing the Bond-era smile licenses him to get away with it.
Malcolm McDowell provides brief moments of hope as Brosnan’s irascibly promiscuous Dad, but even he succumbs to the syrupy sunsets and sentiment. Not even bad enough to be fun, it’s not so much Byronic as moronic.