Imagine you are casting a movie.
You are, as it happens, a British casting director. And the movie you are casting is a romantic comedy about four friends, one of whom falls in love with an American woman. You settle on your British actors without much trouble, choosing as your lead a handsome, floppy-haired man named Hugh Grant. And then you pick your American love interest.
If you are the real casting director of “Four Weddings and a Funeral,” you make one of the most epically bad calls in filmdom. Because the actress you choose to play the woman for whom Hugh Grants falls is Andie MacDowell, a performer with all the dramatic talent of a blue spruce. In so doing, you totally ruin the movie.
You see, midway through the movie we learn that another member of the British foursome is herself in love with Hugh Grant’s character. (I realize this is technically a spoiler of sorts, but that movie came out in the 1990s, which in pop culture terms means around about the Pleistocene.) That character is played by Kristen Scott Thomas, an actress who is not only astoundingly gorgeous but also has more charisma in her elegantly manicured little finger than Andie MacDowell has from stem to stern. And we are meant to watch with sympathetic interest as Mr. Grant chooses the latter instead.
To which I reply, “No.” No. I refuse to care about that character’s happiness by the end of the movie. That character is a moron. Yeah, yeah. Le cœur a ses raisons blah blah blah. No. If your cœur has raisons that lead you to make that decision, then your raisons are full of merde and I’m out. Not only does Andie MacDowell’s performance louse up all the scenes she’s in, it louses up the whole movie, which would otherwise be a pretty decent romcom.
So that’s this week’s Question — what single aspect or attribute fatally flaws an otherwise good end-product? What solitary substitution would you make or have made that would have rescued a movie or performance or event or whatever from the doom that befell it? God help me, in the interest of fairness I will even accept answers like “If only [coach] had put in [player] to make [play] during [sporting event], [team] would have won and the universe would be a happier place.”