Saturday 12 November 2022

REVIEW: Dear Elizabeth (aka Eat Wheaties!) - Starring Tony Hale, Elisha Cuthbert and Sarah Chalke

Review by Jon Donnis
Dear Elizabeth (aka Eat Wheaties!) is a new comedy drama from Scott Abramovitch in his directorial debut, and it finally gets a UK release on digital on November 14th.

Tony Hale plays Sid Straw, an awkward but likeable guy, one day he is tasked with arranging a college class reunion, it just so happens that he went to school with Hollywood actress Elizabeth Banks, and also dated her friend, as he likes to tell everyone. He wants to invite Elizabeth to the reunion, so contacts her through Facebook. He sends her many messages, without reply, but as he does so he starts talking more and more about his life. Unfortunately, nobody believes that he went to school with her. His work colleagues make fun of him. The more he tries to prove he knew her, and also try to get in contact with her, the worse he makes it, as Elizabeth Banks assistant, who is dealing with his messages and requests, just assumes he is some kind of weird stalker.

Eventually the assistant puts a restraining order on Sid, and his life starts to fall apart as a result. He gets himself a lawyer James Fisk (Paul Walter Hauser) to fight the restraining order, his relationship with his brother Tom (David Walton) and his heavily pregnant wife Janet (Elisha Cuthbert) also starts to become strained. The only one who seems to always be there for him is the server at the local place he hangs out, Wendy (Danielle Brooks).

First and foremost, this is a heart-warming comedy. I am a big fan of "cringe comedy", think The Office and you get the idea. The Sid character is super awkward, but has a good heart, and as such he is instantly likeable, and you just want him to do well and succeed, and that is the key to this film. 

Ok the film is slightly predictable, as you know everything will ultimately be ok and turn out well, but the journey to get there is fun. I am an old cynic, so to make me laugh is hard, this film succeeded, it got me laughing at the right moments, it made me feel emotional when I was supposed to be emotional. It does a really great job of making you feel invested in the Sid character.

The Good
This is a really good film, it has a recognisable cast, it is really well written, it is funny, and it proves that the most important thing in film is a good story. It is that simple.

The Bad
Although the ending is really sweet, we don't quite get to see the redemption for the Sid character that I expected. The redemption and full arch is there, I just wanted a little more.

This is a really good film, I enjoyed it from start to finish, I laughed out loud, which is super rare for me. Perhaps this is just the kind of comedy I really like, not sure if everyone would like it, but I did.

If you are a fan of cringe comedy, Steve Carrell, Ricky Gervais type stuff, then you should like this.

I score Dear Elizabeth a solid 9/10

Released on digital 14 November
Watch at Apple TV -