I’ve mentioned my career advice for the perfectly pouty Estella Warren previously, so imagine my pleasant, surging optimism when I first heard that she was headlining an independent movie which posited her as the object of romantic attention between two guys. Then imagine my disappointment when I found out it was Her Minor Thing, a PG-13-rated romantic comedy about a 25-year-old virgin who gets “outed” on television by her reporter boyfriend, and then ends up falling for his cameraman.
No, no, no, Estella. This simply will not do. With all due respect, even as a largely unknown commodity as an actress (outside of that faithful contingent of Kangaroo Jack fans) you’re far too va-voomish to be playing misunderstood Everygirls who’ve had their hearts continuously trampled upon or randomly broken out with the chickenpox when they tried to physically consummate a relationship. This works for you no more than it would for Angelina Jolie. It’s ridiculous, I’m sorry to say. You need to go the sexpot route, honestly. Like, all dangerous and noir-y.
While waiting for the brilliance of my advice to be borne out, though, fans of good-natured romantic trifles could certainly do worse than Her Minor Thing, in which Warren plays Jeana, a young woman whose life gets turned upside down when Sacramento reporter Tom (Michael Weatherly) — outwardly sensitive but naturally also an inveterate womanizer — reveals her secret on the air, before he knows he’s being broadcast live. Of course, this in turn feeds consternation and drama, and while Jeana and Tom initially stick together, she slowly finds herself attracted to cameraman Paul (Christian Kane, above left).
Directed by Charles Matthau (son of the late Walter, and helmer of the underrated The Grass Harp), Her Minor Thing bounces along harmlessly, no better or worse than one’s expectations of it heading in. Attempts to give Warren just a pinch of physical comedy are wince-inducing (sexpot, Estella, sexpot!), but Kane and Weatherly give nicely rooted performances and supporting players including Rachel Dratch, Victoria Jackson, Kathy Griffin and Ivana Milicevic are on hand to keep the proceedings relatively lively.
Presented in widescreen, Her Minor Thing comes with Dolby digital 5.1 and 2.0 stereo English language mixes, and optional subtitles in English and Spanish. A lot of independent releases don’t have any bonus features, but this release hearteningly includes a 10-and-a-half-minute featurette buoyed by engaging cast and crew interviews. Plenty of love is showered on location shoot home Sacramento, and Matthau reveals himself a sardonic puppetmaster. C (Movie) B- (Disc)