Sometimes an actor can drag a mediocre, MOR project up into the realm of moderate entertainment through sheer force of personality and commitment to the role. Consider William Devane in Rolling Thunder, for example, which could have been a Death Wish rip-off but became humanized and was given depth due to the sterling work from its lead.
And God knows Rachel McAdams does her best in this. She is so appealingly spazzy as the enthusiastic workaholic, limbs flailing, dimples working over time. She’s a great physical comedian in the making, assuming someone bothers to give her funny jokes to dance to. McAdams is one of the most assured, effortlessly charismatic of the younger generation of starlets groomed to be the next Julia Roberts (compare, for example, to the vacuum that is Kristen Bell). But unfortunately the deck is stacked too much against her, and she ends up being crushed by the sheer weight of banality exhibited by both the script and the direction.
Montage, montage, something bad happens, montage, something that looks bad turns out good, something that looks good turns out bad, montage, sudden third act obstacle to be dismissed once everyone learns their lesson – scored, of course, to the worst radio station in the world. And as good as McAdams is, almost every other part is either miscast (Goldblum just cannot be sincerely angry – you always assume he’s sarcastically screwing with you before he flashes that grin of his), mishandled (Keaton is totally wasted) or just a complete and utter vacant space (Patrick Wilson must not ever be considered as the romantic lead for any mainstream movie ever again – seriously, he drains the energy out of every scene he appears in here. He needs to be smarmy, psychotic, weaselly or nothing). And Ford is saddled with a sadly one-note caricature that exists only to keep the movie from being over in 30 minutes.