AngelTV Review : Miss Match (charisma mention)
By Ray Richmond
Thursday 25 September 2003
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - "Miss Match" is pretty darn adorable thanks to the singularly irresistible Alicia Silverstone, who is back in her flirty and sassy "Clueless" mode (a welcome switch from her career-plunging flail of recent years).
The hour romantic comedy feels comfy from the outset, with just the right blend of warmth and edge to keep you interested. And it’s got a surprisingly effective trump card in Ryan O’Neal, who looks to be enjoying himself more than he has in ... well, how long ago was "Paper Moon ?" Even though the gambit here is more than a tad preposterous, it’s easily compensated by the leading lady’s considerable charm. And she ain’t too tough on the eyes, either.
Indeed, considering that "Clueless" came out about eight years ago, it’s easy to forget that Silverstone still has yet to turn 27. Even as she pored through a series of unfortunate decisions in that hit film’s wake ("The Babysitter," Batgirl in "Batman & Robin," "Excess Baggage"), it’s not like she’s old and gray while launching this comeback of sorts. She remains a beautiful woman with an effortlessly alluring way about her as well as surprisingly honed comic instincts. That’s all on display in "Miss Match," which casts Silverstone as a rare (and clashing) combination indeed : divorce lawyer who moonlights as a matchmaker.
In fact, exec producer Jeff Rake’s pilot script exposes a few plot holes at the outset that prove a bit confounding. Kate Fox (Silverstone) is supposed to be a ball-busting barrister in her daddy Jerry’s (O’Neal) law firm, but she’s clearly a neophyte without much of an established reputation. And while her cupid thing is all very unofficial — setting up people whom she meets here and there — she still apparently accepts money for the service. But not from everyone. And the idea that Kate can’t seem to find Mr. Right herself feels especially contrived and superficial as she briefly navigates the love minefield with an uptight, anal-rententive boyfriend.
Things begin to crystallize a bit in a second episode provided for review titled "Something Nervy," which fleshes out not only Kate’s relationship with daddy and with best pal Victoria (a zesty performance from Lake Bell) but also with a chiropractor (Johnny Snead) who knows how to touch her just so. That second installment also features nifty support from guest star Charisma Carpenter ("Angel") as a WMA agent and one-time high school acquaintance with major rudeness issues.
Darren Star is among those with his imprint on "Miss Match," and besides exec producing, he also directs the pilot. But this is decidedly not "Sex and the City 2." It’s more "Dates and the City." The supporting players are first-rate, also including James Roday as Kate’s pompous, aloof legal partner Nick and David Conrad as Michael, a great catch who somehow resides in Kate’s blind spot.
Again, "Miss Match" isn’t about realism. It’s tough to imagine someone who really busts up relationships by day and helps create them by night. But it hardly matters because Silverstone is so naturally captivating.
20th Century Fox in association with Imagine Television and Darren Star Prods.
Cast : Kate Fox : Alicia Silverstone ; Jerry : Ryan O’Neal ; Nick : James Roday ; Victoria : Lake Bell ; Michael : David Conrad ; Claire : Jodi Long.
Executive producers : Darren Star, Jeff Rake, Brian Grazer, David Nevins ; Co-executive producer : Jeb Seidel ; Producer : Gareth Davies ; Consulting producers : Marc Silverstein, Abby Kohn, Robin Schiff ; Co-producer : Cathy Frank ; Directors : Darren Star (pilot), Alison Liddi-Brown ; Writer : Jeff Rake ; Directors of photography : Steven Fierberg (pilot), Ron Garcia ; Production designer : Victoria Paul ; Costume designer : Roberta Haze ; Editors : Kevin Krasny (pilot), Peter Basinski, John Axness ; Music : Howard Paar ; Casting : Molly Lopata (pilot), Pillsbury/Zane.