Bending All the Rules (2002)

Colleen Porch and Bradley Cooper in Bending All the Rules (2002)

Bending the Bradley

Following a less than conventional childhood with her carnival performer father, Kenna (Colleen Porch) has become a determined woman to have everything she wants, and that includes men. It is who she comes to be in relationships with both Jeff (Bradley Cooper) and Martin (David Gail) at the same time with both men knowing about each other. All very unconventional until love starts to creep in to the mix.

It makes me laugh at how many angry reviews I have stumbled across from Bradley Cooper fans that have watched this and were left disappointed. Many of them seem to ignore the fact that back in 2002 when "Bending All the Rules" was made that Bradley Cooper wasn't a big movie star and was probably a struggling actor who like many was taking the jobs offered to him in the hope they would lead to something better. This is one of those jobs, and of course since Bradley Cooper has become a house hold name I wouldn't be surprised if this has been repackaged not only to put Bradley Cooper as the focus of the artwork but to make it look like a romantic comedy, it isn't.

So what is "Bending All the Rules"? Well it seems to want to be a drama exploring the unconventional life of Kenna taking us from her childhood travelling with the carnival folk to being a woman who thinks having two men in her life is fine. But you take that a step further and look beneath this layer and of course you have a childhood without love meaning that when love creeps into things as an adult it messes everything up. It's not a terrible idea but one which seems to struggle to be anything as in dramatic, romantic or even in the slightest comedic. It makes it a kind of blah movie, a movie which doesn't really say or do anything, meandering along without really getting the audiences attention.

The thing is that "Bending All the Rules" feels like an indie movie, a movie made by a couple of friends who wanted to make it in the business and felt they had an interesting storyline. But as such the whole thing lacks a certain finesse be it the camera work, sound editing and all the way down to the dialogue and acting. It just never truly comes together which contributes to that feeling of it being nothing.

What this all boils down to is that firstly "Bending All the Rules" is not a very good movie, it is an indie movie which just doesn't work on many different levels. But secondly it isn't, and I repeat it isn't a Bradley Cooper romantic comedy; it is a movie he made when he was an unknown struggling actor.