Revisiting Freddie Prinze Jr.'s "Head Over Heels"

2001 was the height of heartthrob Freddie Prinze Jr.’s romcom career. Last night, 17 years after I first watched this in theaters, HBO’s offering was a blast from the past.

Warning: this movie is White Chicks level stupid. As are many films. And, I don’t mind one bit. When you’re having fun, you don’t care about restricting film viewings to film noir this, Best Picture that. You enjoy the movie for what it is.

Head Over Heels is about an art restorer moving in with four non-smoking models crushing on her neighbor across the street in, Soho(?). Up until the alleged murder scene in which she and the roomies spy on the very charming Freddie Prinze Jr. character, whom she met when enquiring about the room opening up in the models’ apartment, the film is guilty pleasure fun.

After that scene, the movie becomes a semi-boring attempt at unmasking him as a murderer(!). Things don’t get silly-fun until the last 15 minutes of the movie. Our guy Roger Ebert gave this movie two stars, one more than Freddy Got Fingered released in the same year. Marking the first time Roger, R.I.P., and I ever agree.

“Head Over Heels” opens with 15 funny minutes and then goes dead in the water. It’s like they sent home the first team of screenwriters and brought in Beavis and Butt-Head. The movie starts out with sharp wit and edgy zingers, switches them off and turns to bathroom humor. And not funny bathroom humor, but painfully phony gas-passing noises, followed by a plumbing emergency that buries three supermodels in a putrid delivery from where the sun don’t shine. It’s as if the production was a fight to the death between bright people with a sense of humor, and cretins who think the audience is as stupid as they are.
— Roger Ebert

Had the film remained as it was in the beginning, Head Over Heels might be a cult classic.