Written & directed by Steven Baigelman

Starring Keanu Reeves, Cameron Diaz, Vincent D'Onofrio, DelRoy Lindo, Courtney Love, Tuesday Weld, and Dan Aykroyd.

This film is on the Worst of 1996 list.

"Feeling Minnesota"

Opens: Sept. 13, 1996 | Rated: R

Mental note: Just because Cameron Diaz is in a movie doesn't make up for the fact that Keanu Reeves is her co-star.

I freely admit I have a thing for Diaz ("The Mask"). Yes, she is beautiful, but I'm consistently impressed with her talent. She positively stole "She's The One" from writer/director Ed Burns with a turn as a man-eating ex-hooker.

But in "Feeling Minnesota," she has taken a wrong turn -- this picture is a mess, and she sinks to it's level.

Like something Quentin Tarantino might have written when he was 14 and unrequitedly in love with a trampy prom queen, this is the story of two no-class brothers who grew up in a chipped paint house, hating each other and getting involved in petty crime.

Some pretty girl (Diaz) who pulled a small time scam on the local crime syndicate run by DelRoy Lindo ("Get Shorty"), is forced to marry the loser brother (Vincent D'Onofrio) but at the reception falls in love with the cool brother (Reeves) and they hit the road together.

Of course, the loser brother and his mob buddies catch up with them after a few flat scenes intended to hint at the passionate romance and unsuspected depth of our heroes. But these episodes short circuit due to rudderless direction (from writer/director Steven Baigelman) and Reeves usual stony delivery.

Once circumstances tear the lovers apart, we're cued to feel sorry for them by the onset of poignant piano in the soundtrack.

"Feeling Minnesota" is a movie about people who are so dumb that when they lock the keys in their stolen car, they steal another car instead of breaking the window.

"Feeling Minnesota" is a movie so badly written that Diaz actually has to regurgitate the line, "Time is like an orange. It's round and everything happens for a reason."

If you can figure out what that means, you might like this picture. But you'd still have to put up with a convoluted plot, Keanu Reeves, Courtney Love as a waitress (read those cue cards, girl!) and Dan Aykroyd as a cop on the take (who does such a rotten Minnesota accent he sounds like he's from Ireland by way of Queens).

After "Feeling Minnesota," I'm no longer so sure about Cameron Diaz, either. She is the best thing in the movie (which isn't saying much), but one has to wonder about her choice of scripts.

Note to Cameron Diaz: Pick your next project carefully. Just because a film is low-budget and independent doesn't mean it's worthwhile.

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