She's the One (1996 film)

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She's the One
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Edward Burns
Produced by Edward Burns
Ted Hope
James Schamus
Robert Redford
Michael Nozik
John Sloss
Written by Edward Burns
Music by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Cinematography Frank Prinzi
Edited by Susan Graef
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date
  • August 23, 1996 (1996-08-23)
Running time
96 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $3 million[1]
Box office $13.8 million

She's the One is a 1996 American romantic comedy film, and the second feature film to be written and directed by New York actor and director Edward Burns. It stars Jennifer Aniston and Cameron Diaz, and is one of Tom Petty's few movie soundtracks. According to Edward Burns the title She's The One is named after the Bruce Springsteen song of the same name.


The film tells the story of two Irish Catholic Fitzpatrick brothers, Mickey (Edward Burns) and Francis (Mike McGlone) and the tribulations of love, family and betrayal. Mickey is a New York City blue-collared taxi driver, unhappy over an act of infidelity committed by Heather (Cameron Diaz), his ex-fiancée. Francis is a white-collared Wall Street stock investor, who unknown to his wife, Renee (Jennifer Aniston), is having an affair.

During weekends, Mickey and Francis visit their parents who live on Long Island, their mother is never seen on camera, while they have better time interacting with their father, Frank (John Mahoney), an old-school sexist and bigot who always gives Mickey and Francis advice to live out their lives any way they can and to always go for what drives them to succeed.

While driving his cab one day, Mickey picks up Hope (Maxine Bahns), an NYU art student with whom he becomes infatuated and impulsively marries after a few days. Mickey and Hope show up at Francis and Renee's apartment one night to announce their quickie marriage, this causes consternation for his brother, largely because he was not asked to be best man at the wedding. Mickey moves in with Hope, but later becomes disillusioned with aspects of their lifestyle, including frequent power cuts in their ramshackle apartment. Francis is also having problems in his marriage, he is concerned that he is being unfair to Heather, his mistress, the same woman Mickey left, by continuing to stay with Renee. At the same time, Renee's Italian-American family, mostly her younger sister Molly (Amanda Peet), suggest the problem with Francis' lack of interest in her is that he may be gay, so she has Mickey and their father, Frank, confront him about it, he denies being gay, but admits to being unfaithful.

Meanwhile, Francis' arrogance leads him to take potshots at his brother for the apparent lack of forward progression in his life with his wife, while Francis argues with Heather about her own sexual infidelity with a much older man referred to as "Papa". One day, Mickey picks up Heather in his cab and goes up to her apartment to retrieve a television that belonged to him during their relationship. Heather responds by demanding Mickey's wristwatch, which she purchased for him as a gift. Mickey relents, which she implies she wants more from him, but he does not reciprocate, instead reminds her of her affair, and her previous profession. Throughout all this, Mickey and Francis' father offers more egotistical and selfish advice to them. Then Frank learns, during a fishing trip with the church's pastor, that his supposedly highly religious wife hasn't been to Church Mass in months.

On a visit to his mistress's apartment, Francis learns that Mickey and Heather have recently met. Francis makes an unexpected visit to his brother's apartment and questions Mickey about his visit with Heather, they get into an argument over whether or not Mickey had sex with Heather. Later, Mickey discovers that she is the woman Francis has been having an affair with, the revelation escalates to an argument in their parents' home, during a birthday dinner for their father. In an attempt to settle the dispute, Frank takes both Francis and Mickey outside and ties boxing gloves on each, with the intent of having them fight out their differences. Mickey proves the victor.

Eventually, Francis confronts Renee about his affair and files for divorce, in order to marry Heather. When Mickey finds out about the impending marriage, he informs Francis that Heather was once a prostitute during her college days, this causes Francis to get cold feet and it angers Heather. She tells Mickey that she thought that he didn't have a problem with her prior choice of employment, and Mickey says that he doesn't, but Francis may, and that he has a right to know.

Meanwhile, Hope has already dropped a bomb on Mickey: she is moving to Paris very soon and Mickey is not sure about whether or not to join her, on a visit to the bar where Hope works, Mickey discovers that Connie (Leslie Mann), one of Hope's co-workers, claims to have had a "special relationship" with Hope before the marriage. This troubles Mickey so much that he begins to avoid Hope. Later, Hope tells Mickey that she is unsure if he should come to Paris after all and admits to having a "semi-lesbian affair" with Connie some years back, as a result, Mickey and Hope's relationship appears to be about to break up.

Due to Francis' indecision over marriage in light of the news that Heather was a prostitute, Heather decides to marry "Papa", the wealthy older man she has been seeing. When Francis threatens to tell Papa that Heather was a prostitute, Heather tells Francis that Papa was "her best customer", he then calls Renee in hopes of getting back together with her. But she is already in another relationship with Scott Sherman, an overweight, mutual acquaintance whom Francis had made fun of in an earlier scene.

In the final scenes of the film, Mickey and Francis meet with their father at his house where the distraught Frank tells them that their mother had just left him the previous day for a hardware store owner whom she has been having an affair with for several months. Unsure about everything now, Frank finally apologizes to Mickey and Francis for giving them bad advice about life and love when his own wife was cheating on him behind his back, as a result, the three men decide to go out fishing aware that despite the failure of their love lives, they will always have each other. As they prepare the motorboat to cast off, only Mickey decides it would be better if he tried to have one last talk with Hope before she leaves America. Only their father has arranged a surprise guest – Hope, the movie ends with Hope asking to drive the boat, but Frank, aware that women are not allowed on board, says it is too soon for that.



Critical reception of the film was positive. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 61% based on reviews from 51 critics, with an average rating of 5.8/10.[2] Critics were, overall, won by the performances of John Mahoney, Jennifer Aniston and Cameron Diaz: Aniston and Mahoney brought a "kind of solid professionalism" according to Janet Maslin and Lisa Schwarzbaum.[3][4] Chris Hicks said, "Better, however, are Diaz, lending charm to a character who could have been quite unsympathetic, and especially Aniston, whose decent, trusting character is quite appealing. Best of all, however, is John Mahoney, hilarious as the bombastic patriarch of the Fitzpatrick clan, who refers to his sons as 'sisters' and calls them 'Barbara' or 'Dorothy' while offering ill-advised sarcasm in place of fatherly wisdom."[5] For Louise Keller, "Burns, Diaz, Bahns and Aniston inject an energy and charisma of their own, and they're fun to watch." Paul Fischer found that Diaz and Aniston are "both in fine form".[6] Alison Macor said, "As Francis' wife Renee, Aniston provides one of the few bright spots in She's the One. Playing Renee as the wry voice of sanity among the rest of the characters, Aniston shows that she's the one who makes this film somewhat enjoyable."

Critics were less forgiving of Maxine Bahns. Mick LaSalle said about her, "The graduate student, Hope, is played by Maxine Bahns, Burns' real-life girlfriend, who was also his love interest in McMullen. Throw a rock out the window, and it's sure to hit someone with more acting talent than Bahns, she can't say a line without it ringing false and keeps smiling nervously, like a shy person at a party. In a way, it's rather sweet that Burns keeps casting Bahns, but She's the One would have been much improved had Burns given Jennifer Aniston the Bahns role. Instead Aniston is wasted here as the unloved wife of Mickey's callous brother, Francis (Mike McGlone of McMullen), she looks great, but all she gets to do is whine and smoke, and she all but disappears two-thirds of the way into the film."[7]


The music for the film was composed by Tom Petty, and performed by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. The accompanying soundtrack album leaves out most of the instrumental music featured in the film, and includes a number of songs that are not in the film, or are only heard playing dimly in the background. Many of the songs were written (and some recorded) for Petty's 1994 success Wildflowers. Singles released from the soundtrack included two versions of the song "Walls" (featuring Fleetwood Mac's Lindsey Buckingham), "Climb that Hill" and a song written by Lucinda Williams, "Change the Locks". The album also included a cover of "Asshole", a song by Beck.

Home video[edit]

In 2000, Fox Home Entertainment released "Stories From Long Island: Three Films by Edward Burns" ($70), a DVD set which included The Brothers McMullen (1995), She's the One and No Looking Back (1998)."[8]


  1. ^ Macauley, Scott (18 March 2011). "Breaking Down Ed Burns' $9000 Budget". Filmmaker Magazine. Retrieved 2012-07-23. 
  2. ^ "She's the One". 23 August 1996. 
  3. ^ Maslin, Janet (August 23, 1996). "She s The One (1996) : A 2d Movie Is a Reprise Of a Debut, With Cash". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-07-12. 
  4. ^ "She's the One –". Entertainment Weekly's 
  5. ^ Hicks, Chris (13 September 1996). "Film review: She's the One". 
  6. ^ "Urban Cinefile SHE'S THE ONE". 
  7. ^ "FILM REVIEW -- She's Still `the One' / `McMullen' director makes first film again". SFGate. 
  8. ^ Hartl, John (October 13, 2000). "DVD's moving in on home-video market". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2012-07-23. 

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