Clever writing carries All About Steve

Much like Drew Barrymore's Flower Films, Inc. and Reese Witherspoon's Type A Films, Sandra Bullock’s production company Fortis Films seeks projects featuring strong female leads. It produced the silly All About Steve, a harmless and really quite sweet romp that finds Bullock sporting a honeyed auburn shag and shiny red knee-high boots. She plays Mary Horowitz, a crossword puzzle creator whose one — and very short — blind date with the blue-eyed news cameraman Steve (Bradley Cooper) breaks her free from a sheltered, rather antisocial life living with her parents (the delightful Howard Hesseman and Beth Grant) while her apartment get fumigated. She follows Steve on assignment around the country chasing big new stories with his producer Angus (Ken Jeong) and the ambitious and generally clueless — at least about, you know, news and the proper tone to use when reporting it — journalist Hartman (a hilarious Thomas Haden Church). Mary is an enthusiastic, sweet, sex-starved woman who goes looking for love and finds friends (the sad DJ Qualls and sweet Katy Mixon), fans, and a few practical uses for her encyclopedic knowledge. Clever writing — especially the news-seeking trio's smart slapstick — buoys the silliness to a higher level of fun. ***