We did more giggling than gasping when we caught "I Love Trouble"--the flick that has "journalists" Julia Roberts and Nick Nolte walking an investigative tightrope for rival newspapers. Those clothes! Most of the time, Julia's character didn't seem to know if she was visiting a crime scene or attending a sorority rush party. And Nick, well, not all male journalists wear a khaki trench coat all of the time.
SHE: The scene that really cracked me up was the one where they are running through the woods. There's Roberts (as Sabrina Peterson), flying through the forest, sans one scratch, in a ribbed cotton mini sweater dress (from Ann Taylor, $150) and dainty flats, looking like she's on her way to a modeling assignment. Give that girl black leggings and a pair of lugged boots and maybe we'll believe she's a modern journalist on a flight for her life.
HE: There are several items that give away Nolte (Peter Brackett) as an impostor, but the ones that nearly made me spray my Dr Pepper across three rows were the silk handkerchiefs. Day to day, I've never, but never, seen a newspaper guy wearing a handkerchief in his jacket pocket. Heck, they hardly ever wear jackets (except, in extreme cases, from the parking lot to the office, at which time they take them off forever).
But there's Nolte, with a succession of stylishly puffed out silk handkerchiefs jutting from a succession of finely tailored jackets. Internally, I'm screaming, "Nick, you moron! You're a newspaper guy! You're supposed to be a slob! You're going to get dirty!! "
SHE: Roberts played her sartorial cards right when she showed up in full slacks and easygoing jackets--clothes that gave her room to move. In my book, that's the look for a woman journalist who's out there risking it all to get a story.
One jacket, in particular, caught my eye (and the eye of the fashion editors of Glamour magazine; they discuss it in the July issue): the tan, two-pocket jacket with sash by Emanuel Ungaro ($358). It was not only appropriately low-profile--Roberts paired it with a black turtleneck top and slacks--but credible. More than I can say for her train-wreck rags. Right?
HE: My quarrel with the train wreck outfit at the opening of the movie was that she was wearing it at all. She looked like she was getting ready to cover a charity luncheon. But it was a train wreck, for goodness sake! And the first look you get of her at this horrendous scene of death and destruction and mud and grease and earthmovers and sparks from cutting torches and fire and brimstone and muck and mire is a pair of black high heels and bare legs twinkling along through the carnage.
You don't wear top-dollar designer clothes to a train wreck. You make a quick detour home (or if you live far away from the office, you detour to your bottom desk drawer), you skin out of the good stuff and you put on crusty old jeans, jungle boots and a shirt you won't mind ruining. Because you will ruin it.
Nolte wasn't much better: full GQ, plus the stupid trench coat, which was completely unneeded in that tame weather. Trench coats are made to keep you dry, not to identify you as a really bitchin' newspaper guy.
SHE: Roberts' bare legs. They sure showcased 'em in this movie. But were they hers? Remember all the flak over her stems-substitute in "Pretty Woman"? Maybe that's what this movie was really all about--proving Lyle Lovett's lady has nice legs.
HE: OK, so get her a guest shot on "Models, Inc." But if you want to see how newspaper folk dress day in and day out, the closest thing to the truth I've seen come out of Hollywood is "All the President's Men." Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford are wrinkled all the time, and all the guys wear broadcloth button-downs, slacks, shoes they don't mind scuffing and their ties are never knotted up to their throats.
Even Jason Robards, who played Ben Bradlee, was a fashion ham-and-egger. If some guy showed up in our newsroom looking as spiffy as Nolte does, he'd be greeted with lots of whistles and kissing noises.
SHE: I'll have to hand it to Roberts' wardrobe designers for one thing--the small, simple, silver-loop earrings she wears through most of the movie. They subtly enhanced her face, never distracting from what she had to say. Too often wardrobe stylists go trendy with accessories. Even a simple gold earring might have looked too flashy, a pearl stud too dressy.
Another thing I liked--her wardrobe's color scheme. Pinks, purples, reds or yellows would have looked garish, unprofessional. She was right on the money in tan, cream, black and navy.
HE: I thought Nolte had a fine wardrobe as well, perfect for a night out. He looked like a professional model. Camel hair blazer that appeared to be Donegal tweed, a long tan vest under the blazer, a casual suede jacket with a price tag somewhere in the ionosphere, shoes with a shine on them, upper-end, color-coordinated silk ties over what looked like Egyptian cotton shirts. Everything pressed, everything starched, everything just so.
Pretty cool--and true to form--if you're a zillionaire with lots and lots of time to shop for clothes. Absolutely cartoonish if you're a newspaper type.