This film has one serious fundamental error … and I just couldn’t get past it.
by Martin Hafer
Making the Rules is a film about a chef, Abby (Jaime Pressly), who is seriously injured on the job. And, until her hand had healed, she’s unable to go back to work. Instead of working, she stays home and forces herself to relax—which is not easy due to her rather intense personality. Soon, she gets bored and decides to start seeing an old boyfriend—which is a problem since she is already married! It gets worse when she sleeps with this boyfriend and soon finds herself pregnant—and she isn’t sure whose child it is. Her motivation to do this is very vague, as her husband seems like a pretty nice guy and he puts up with Abby’s snippiness. Her frequent ambivalence towards both of them just baffled me—as she soon tired of the boyfriend. She is a woman who has no idea what she wants in life nor does she have any sort of moral compass. She simply acts on her feelings.
I had a SERIOUS problem with the plot of this movie as I watched it. I didn’t care for the main character at all and this is an insurmountable hurdle for most films. With some types of movies (such as a western or war film or film about Hitler) you are expected to hate some of the characters, but with a modern slice of life film like this one, this is very tough—and almost impossible when the person is the leading character. To me,
Abby came off as occasionally nasty, very self-absorbed, rather tense and unlikable. Add to that a nice dose of adultery, and you have a film that is very hard to like. So, while Abby’s very, very pretty outside, she’s very ugly within and not a person you can admire or relate to—at least for the average person. This just makes me wonder why they wrote this sort of a film in the first place. Did this seem normal in the least to anyone making the film? The film is a lot like a rom-com with neither the romance nor the comedy nor the likable lady. It didn’t help that the film also was rather slow and low-energy.
So is there anything I liked about the film? Not a whole lot. The acting was generally good but the pacing and story just left me very cold. And, there are simply a lot of wonderful cooking movies out there that I would recommend instead, such as Mostly Martha or The Big Night. Each of these films featured characters who were flawed but ultimately quite likable.