Movie Review

All About Steve a.k.a. “Verrückt nach Steve”

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sexual content including innuendos.

Reviewed by: Sheri McMurray
CONTRIBUTOR

Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults
Genre:
Romance, Comedy
Length:
1 hr. 38 min.
Year of Release:
2009
USA Release:
September 4, 2009 (wide—2,000+ theaters)
DVD: December 22, 2009
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Relevant Issues
Copyright, 20th Century Fox

What is true love and how do you know when you have found it? Answer

Sex, Love & Relationships
Learn how to make your love the best it can be. Discover biblical answers to questions about sex, marriage, sexual addictions, and more.

Featuring: Sandra Bullock (Mary Horowitz), Thomas Haden Church Hughes), Bradley Cooper (Steve), Ken Jeong (Angus), DJ Qualls (Howard), Keith David (Corbitt), Howard Hesseman (Mr. Horowitz), Beth Grant (Mrs. Horowitz), Katy Mixon (Elizabeth), M.C. Gainey (Norm the Truck Driver), Holmes Osborne (Soloman), Delaney Hamilton (Little Deaf Girl), Jason Jones (Vasquez), Carlos Gómez (Rescue Supervisor), George Sharperson (Rescuer), Luenell (Protestor Lydia), Christina Carlisi (Teacher), Joe D'Angerio (ABC News Producer), Shanda Laurent (Bus Driver), Kerri Kenney (Miss Hancock), Stephanie Venditto (KNYT Reporter), P.J. Marino (KNYT Sound Tech), Wayne Grace (Retired Mine Supervisor), Mickey Giacomazzi (Skinny Fireman), Noah Munck (Large Kid), Bridget Shergalis (Mini Mary), James Martin Kelly (Mine Safety Expert), Andrew Caldwell (Young Rescuer), Bryan Moore (Assistant), Rachel Sterling (Botanist), Jackie Johnson (CCN Meteorologist), Regino Montes (Maintenance Guy), Elliott Cho (Daniel), Justin Grafman (Deaf Boy), Joy Darash (Hipster Girl), Jordan Green (Kid), Geraldo Rivera (Geraldo Rivera), Beverly Polcyn (Old Lady), Misha Dibono (Paula), Dori Kancher (Payroll Clerk), Vernard “Bone” Hampton (Security Guard), Hari Kondabolu (Crossword Businessman), Jordan Morris (Protestor Winston), Dorie Barton (Horowitz House Reporter #1), Patrick Brown (Horowitz House Reporter #2), Alvera DeLeon (Horowitz House Reporter #3), Gillian Vigman (Misc. (Female) News Reporter), Michael Joseph Carr (B.B.C. Reporter), Larry Dorf (MSNBC Reporter), Darcy Fowers (Guest Expert), Charlyne Yi (Young Protester), Tyrone Giordano (Dad), Hollie Stenson (Another Reporter), Paul Beller (Firefighter), Kurt Ela (Reporter #1), Kelli Kirkland (Receptionist), Lucy Davis (Patient), Hira Ambrosino (Mrs. Yamamoto), Sara Sanderson (Houston Anchor), Andre Alexsen (The Colorado State Trooper—uncredited), DeeDee Bigelow (Saloon Gal—uncredited), Carolyn Christian (Reporter #4—uncredited), Nick Hodaly (CCN Arabic News Anchor—uncredited), Patterson Lundquist (BSBC Camera man—uncredited), Ben Macdonald (Australian news anchor—uncredited), John Robert (Rescuer—uncredited), Carol Shook (Reporter—uncredited), JonJon Wood (Park Bench Guy—uncredited)
Director: Phil Traill
Producer: Fortis Films, Radar Pictures, Sandra Bullock, Trevor Engelson, Ted Field, Jeffrey Harlacker, Mary McLaglen, Nick Osborne
Distributor: 20th Century Fox

“From the producer of ‘Miss Congeniality’”

“All About Steve” is an uneven feel-good bit of romantic comedy that tries hard to tickle your funny bone while delivering a profound message at the end. The running gag through the entire movie is the red boots that smart, pretty and a little ditsy crossword puzzle constructor Mary Horowitz (Sandra Bullock) wears, it may seem, even to bed. Although never said, they are the equivalent of her ‘lucky penny’ and also the banner under which most of her zany problems occur.

After meeting and becoming completely infatuated with a cute guy named Steve (Bradley Cooper) on a blind date, Mary is totally convinced that their chemistry is undeniable. Her complete fixation with Steve surfaces in her work at a local newspaper and causes her to lose her job. This and other seemingly random episodes—that to Mary are like pieces to a giant life cross word—only feeds her theory that she has met her soul mate, and convinces her that she must do anything and go anywhere to be with Steve.

Steve is a news cameraman who is traversing the country covering breaking news stories with handsome self-absorbed news anchorman and best friend Hartman Hughs (Thomas Haden Church), and nervous yes-man Angus (Ken Jeong). Hartman has a fine time always torturing Steve with good natured gabs every chance he gets, so when Mary shows up trailing Steve at every venue, Hartman can’t resist firing the flames of love.

Mary is a woman on a mission to convince Steve it’s their destiny to be eternally united, while Steve on the other hand feels he’s being stalked by the overzealous Mary. Hartman takes total gleeful advantage of the situation and encourages the love-struck Mary at every turn, while Steve battles unsuccessfully to ward them both off while trying to do his job.

This formula flick has it’s belly laugh moments and ends as most usually do, placing Mary in the middle of the news story of the year, making those people she has met along her journey come together, and, at the same time, she learns valuable life lessons about friendships, her unique path in life, and what true love really is.

What is true love and how do you know when you have found it? Answer

This being said, I have to say this is not a family movie, and Christian parents must be warned not to let the rating fool you. “All About Steve” is rated PG-13 for sexual content including innuendos, but it is much more adult than that with plenty of swear words and references to male/female body parts. The beginning scenes of the film has the character of Mary literally jump on the Steve character and seduce him in the backseat of his truck on their first and only “date” without a word or even knowing him at all. Although meant to be funny, the humor is lost on anyone with a solid Christian moral base. Allowing your pre-teen or teens to view this, along with the rest of the adult sexual situations sprinkled liberally through out the whole movie, would take twice as long as the entire length of the film to filter through, discuss and teach your kids that this is not what God intended love, dating relationships and sex between a man and a woman to be.

Should I save sex for marriage? Answer

Fornication

How can I deal with temptations? Answer

How far is too far? What are the guidelines for dating relationships? Answer

What are the consequences of sexual immorality? Answer

I have a list an arm’s length of references to homosexuality, being pimped out for sex, a very direct description of a sex change, making it funny for a baby to be born with a third leg, rape as a joke, penis jokes, breast jokes, fornication before marriage, and taking the Lord’s name in vain. Add that to all the profanity, and you have a great idea for a movie, bogged down with so much un-Christian, un-family friendly fare that any concerned Christian parent is forced to say no to viewing it.

God is mentioned twice in references such as: “Ask and ye shall receive” and “Let there be light,” but be warned these references are in the context of comedic scenes. “All About Steve” was fun to watch, but made me feel uncomfortable many times, a shame too, because the acting is great and the premise is a good one. To learn you must care for others no matter who or what they represent, understand people and have a heart for those who may have disabilities. To know that it is more important to get to know a person on the inside, fall in love and marry them, before you commit your body to them. To give of yourself for others without thinking a selfish thought. To bring joy to those you love and care about. And, of course, never to judge a person by the way they look on the outside. These are all qualities found within “All About Steve,” but unfortunately, the viewer must be adult enough to see them, and know Scripture well enough to discern them.

In the end, this light comedy isn’t meant to be deep or thought provoking, but it does send the message that we can use our natural human virtues to make life right, which is never going to work in real life. It is a disappointment to see people depending on some cosmic inner power that God never gave them. We must connect with the Life of Jesus Christ in order to get life right. Jesus, and He alone, is the true example of the virtues Mary was looking for. His life can never be described in terms of our own natural virtues, not the virtues of Adam but of Jesus Christ only.

No natural love or natural purity can ever measure up to what Jesus’ example demands. However, be assured, that as we bring every part of our bodily life into harmony with The Living Word which God Himself has given us through His Spirit, He then will exhibit in us the true virtues that are characteristic of our Lord Jesus. In the end, Mary didn’t find it on her own. For this character to have been truly happy, she would have had to find her core virtues are a source from God alone.

Every true virtue we possess Is His Alone.

Violence: None / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Moderate

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—I thought this movie was hilarious. Sure the beginning was ridiculous when she sleeps with the guy in his van the first ten minutes she meets him; I would just fast forward that part. But if you get into the role she was playing this crazy lady that is not a social butterfly, it was hilarious. I thought Sandra did a great job in the role and the ending was cute. I do screen my movies I watch and always read reviews, everyone said this movie stunk but I liked it except the first part I just mentioned.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Samantha T, age 35 (USA)
Positive—I’ve watched pretty much all of Sandra Bullock’s movies and enjoy most of her roles. This wasn’t the best movie by any means, but it did have its funny moments and showed you to be who-you-are, don’t be someone you’re not, also to care and sacrifice for others. Yes, there are a few objectionable parts (in the van—no nudity but she was wearing a bra, low cut top, crude words/swearing), however it didn’t offend me as much as some other movies, use your own judgment (adults, not children). I found it to be quirky and cute.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 2½
—Krys, age 28 (Canada)
Negative
Negative—This is artistically the worst movie I have ever seen. I avoid bad movies, but I wasn’t prepared for the total lack of competence of this one. I like Sandra Bullock very much as a comedic actress and also as a Hollywood personality who tries to make less offensive movies. There were plenty of offensive elements, but the worst thing about the movie was every single cinematic component. Poorly constructed plot, terrible script, horrible direction, not terrific acting by all, except the few lead characters. I only sat painfully to the bitter end because I like Bullock and wanted to see how this awful movie ends. There is a positive message at the end, which offsets a little bit the disastrous aspects of this movie. What a shame.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 1
—Halyna, age 63 (USA)
Negative—VULGAR from start to finish! Bad language was overboard and EXCESSIVE! {every other sentence practically!} And that, of course, does not even count for the other abominations in this movie. We always liked the “cute, fun” romantic comedies that Sandra Bullock has given us ~ up till now. This movie however goes to show that she’s all part of the problem. {And the movie she did just before this one: “The Proposal” was pretty much pushing the envelope as well, but this one really went over the top. Even that one was “cute” if you overlooked certain parts, but this movie was NOT even “cute”!} This movie was just plain dumb, chocked full of cursing, “flipping the bird” and other such things.

Fornication is very much glorified in this film… Adulterers and fornicators the Lord will judge! Hebrews 13:4 There is nothing “funny” about breaking God’s law – albeit on the movie screen and then laughing about it. Further, I honestly felt that it was making fun of the Lord – the way that she explained, “Jesus told me to ….”, etc. I expect others may disagree. IF this movie was all about “be who you are” ~ then surely it could have been done in a nicer way! No chuckles at all in the (crowded) theater on opening day! There was almost a heavy feeling ~ easy to get the sense that the entire audience was let down.

There was absolutely NO “feel-good glow” for having seen this movie when we left. Just pure disappointment. This is the last Sandra Bullock film for me! Besides that, I will be careful to check ratings. Honestly, most movies we consider going to – are checked against this site first. I wish that would have been the case here, but it was a new movie and had not been reviewed yet. We had a free afternoon and were anxious for something to do. Sad!

Living in the last moments of these end days, we’re going to have to rethink our forms of “entertainment” as it seems that the devil owns most all forms of entertainment now days. No, dear Reader – who lambasted the other lady – it is not about just going to VeggieTales movies (I don’t get it! ~ why do “Christians” have to beat the other ones up… or put them down just because they give a different review? Usually it’s the ones who are willing to put up with immoral trash who bash the ones who uphold good, godly, wholesome values… and why does this site allow such bashing anyway??!!) Points can be made without beating someone up who does not agree with you.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2
—RJ, age 50 (USA)
Negative—Let me first say, that my personal filter when watching a film is Jesus. I would not want to be sitting next to Him beginning with the very first scene of this movie. ( Bullock has passionate sex with her blind date as soon as she gets into his car) It was extremely offensive!! This film was FAR from a PG-13 rating. Sorry kids! This is NOT for you or your parents. I wished there had been a review on this Web site before I viewed this one! Do not waste your money!!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Mrs. Dale Price, age 42 (USA)
Negative—Dumb movie-stupid dialog poorly acted. I normally like Sandra but this was pitiful.…
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Ray, age 55
Comments from young people
Neutral—I saw this movie yesterday, and I have to say it was pretty funny. There were some very good sequences but they were sadly overshadowed by some scenes that didn’t really need to be that long, or didn’t need to be there at all. My dad was the leadman in this movie and I was an extra. Altogether the movie was good, its just how many times you want to hear the S-word and that one bronco scene. If hearing that language affects you then don’t watch this movie, but otherwise, have fun.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Jack, age 15 (USA)
Positive—I rather enjoyed this movie. Sandra Bullock’s acting was hilarious. The storyline was funny, as well. They used a few “Oh my Gods,” but what movie doesn’t. Overall, I loved it.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Colin, age 16 (Canada)
Positive—This was really a funny movie . The language was mild, and there is one sexual situation , but it doesn’t show any nudity and isn’t that long. And it has a great heart warming message in the end.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 2½
—Dillon, age 15 (USA)
Movie Critics
…Offbeat, but sometimes endearing, hilarious and inspiring… with positive Christian, biblical references, but regrettably there is plenty of foul language and some crude, immoral content.…
—Movieguide
Comments from non-viewers
Looked forward to seeing this movie as Sandra Bullock is one of my favorite stars and have enjoyed so many of her previous movies. Within the first five minutes, my husband and I were so shocked to see Sandra attempting what would have been called a rape attempt if it were a man doing to a woman what Sandra was doing to the man who had just picked her up for a first date! And it happened nearly the moment they got into the vehicle!! The scene was so awful, that my husband and I got up and walked out and got our money back. We did not want to support such trash and wanted to voice our disgust. Thank you for giving Christian worldview reviews. We should have listened to your “Offensive” rating and skipped this one!
—Betty, age 73