BY DANITA STEINBERG
DATE RELEASED: March 17, 2000
DATE WATCHED: February 2, 2013
WHY NOW? You know, this is one of those movies that everyone else has seen, except me. I really like Julia Roberts, I love seeing a gal fight the system, and I love a well-made drama based on true events. It’s also been on my Netflix recommendations for months.
WHY NOT THEN? I was only 11 when it was released, but in the years since, I became bitter that Julia Roberts won the Oscar over Ellen Burstyn in Requiem For a Dream that year. I also decided that Erin Brockovich was probably like every other movie of its genre (see Norma Rae and Silkwood), and thus, there was no reason for me to see it. Because Sally Field and Meryl Streep do it way better.
- Julia Roberts being Julia Roberts – by that I mean, schmaltzy as anything (which wouldn’t work in a movie like this).
- A boring account of true events.
- A lot of courtroom drama.
- Indifference towards the story and its characters, just because it is such a familiar type of movie.
WHAT I ACTUALLY GOT…
- An enjoyable and humorous script with winning one-liners.
- Julia Roberts giving a strong voice to a strong woman, but being totally vulnerable at the same time.
- ALBERT FINNEY! No one told me he was in this. I was sold right then and there. Why is he so charming?
- Aaron Eckhart as a biker dude.
- Perfect balancing act between drama and comedy, giving the movie a more human feel.
- An important perspective on what it’s like to be a working, single mom.
- Julia Roberts totally winning my heart, as she won the hearts of her clients. GO JULIA ROBERTS!
ONE NIGHT-IN STAND OR SECOND DATE POTENTIAL?
As much as I enjoyed this film, I probably won’t watch it again for a long time. It is pretty straightforward as far as storytelling and filmmaking go, and it didn’t elicit much more than a “well, that was a nice two hours” reaction from me.
Danita loves musicals, Bette Midler, sandwiches, Real Housewives, great horror films, and The Golden Girls. She’s a barista, bookworm, cinephile, and celebrity stalker. If she’s at home, she’s in her pajamas. Follow her on Twitter @danita_35.