Lisa Schwarzbaum
September 01, 2000 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Love & Sex

Current Status
In Season

We gave it a B

Struggling to come up with the right ”happy, perky” women’s magazine story about how to find and keep a man, Kate (Famke Janssen, also in X-Men) recalls her relationship with Adam (Jon Favreau, also in The Replacements), a funny painter whose confidence usually outpaced his neuroses. The couple cohabited perkily until one day his neuroses won out, after which the two broke up. But really, they were made for each other …

The usual issues and scenarios pertain in Valerie Breiman’s Mad About You-style indie, including fear of boredom, fear of commitment, and a moment of intimacy involving flatulence in bed. There’s Kate’s editor, played by Ann Magnuson with Anything But Love-style imperiousness, declaring ”Old is ugly, ugly is death.” There are the usual glib, Will & Grace-style quips. (”I like feeling depressed. It makes me feel deep and introspective,” Kate says.) And there’s Favreau playing Adam as if he’s inhabiting the body of Albert Brooks in Broadcast News while doing an imitation of Kenneth Branagh in Celebrity doing an imitation of Woody Allen in Annie Hall.

Amid the boilerplate, though, the Dutch-born Janssen sparkles serenely. Funny, game, unimpressed by her own beauty, and always ready to eat, she (like Cameron Diaz) gives new props to ex-models, single-handedly raising Love & Sex to see level. B

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