Alex & Emma

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Alex & Emma ★½ 2003 (PG-13)

The original unwieldy title was “Loosely Based on a True Love Story” because it's loosely based on writer Fyodor Dostoyev-sky's story “The Gambler,” which was based on a true incident in his life. Or at least that's what the original hype for the movie maintained. Writer Alex (Wilson) has big gambling debts so he takes an advance from his publisher (Reiner) in exchange for churning out a book in 30 days. He hires stenographer Emma (Hudson) to take dictation of his very bad novel, which is set in 1924 and comes to life as Alex spins a story that Emma heartily criticizes. Lame romantic comedy wastes its leads, who have been much more charming in other films (and who have no chemistry together). Lovely blond Hudson is forced into a drab brunette persona that's as unappealing as her wardrobe. 96m/C VHS, DVD . US Luke Wilson, Kate Hudson, Sophie Marceau, David Paymer, Francois Giroday, Rob Reiner, Cloris Leachman, Rip Taylor; D: Rob Reiner; W: Jeremy Leven; C: Gavin Finney; M: Marc Shaiman.