Mr. Wrong

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For other uses, see Mr. Wrong (disambiguation).
Mr. Wrong
Mr wrong.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Nick Castle
Produced by Marty Katz
Written by Chris Matheson
Kerry Ehrin
Craig Munson
Starring Ellen DeGeneres
Bill Pullman
Joan Cusack
Dean Stockwell
Joan Plowright
Music by Craig Safan
Cinematography John Schwartzman
Edited by Patrick Kennedy
Distributed by Buena Vista Pictures
Release dates
  • February 16, 1996 (1996-02-16)
Country United States
Language English
Budget $19 million
Box office $12,350,030

Mr. Wrong is a 1996 American romantic/black comedy film starring Ellen DeGeneres and Bill Pullman. Ellen DeGeneres still mentions this film occasionally in her talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show. The film was a critical failure and a box office bomb.

Plot summary[edit]

The film begins with Martha Alston (DeGeneres) in a wedding gown incarcerated in a Mexican prison. The investigators call her Mrs. Crawford and listen to her explain why she committed murder on her wedding day.

Some time ago, at her younger sister's wedding, Martha is pestered by her family about when she'll get married. At work, she rejects a date with a younger co-worker, Walter (John Livingston). Disappointed by her dull Valentine's Day blind date, Martha goes home to sulk in front of the TV, where, inundated by romantic imagery, she is prompted to get out of the house.

Martha goes to a bar where she drops her quarter in front of the jukebox. She bends down to get it, then a man shows up and selects the same song Martha would have chosen. The man is Whitman Crawford (Pullman), and they instantly hit it off. They go back to his house and have sex. Whitman says he's a poet and an investor. He reads Martha one of his poems.

Martha introduces Whitman to her family and he impresses them. But by the time Martha meets Whitman's mother, Martha has become convinced Whitman is not Mr. Right at all. Whitman's ex-girlfriend Inga (Joan Cusack) and her accomplice Bob (Brad William Henke) harass Martha. Inga refuses to believe that Martha has dumped Whitman. Whitman refuses to believe it either, and begins stalking Martha and trying to woo her back in increasingly ridiculous ways. Whitman even buys off Martha's private investigator (Dean Stockwell) and abducts Martha to Mexico to marry her there.

Walter shows up to rescue Martha from the wedding, but trips. His gun falls into Martha's hand and she shoots Whitman. Then she's arrested, and the investigators conclude that she murdered Whitman. Walter springs her out of jail and explains that it was Inga who shot Whitman.

Walter and Martha ride a horse West towards the sunset. Title cards over this scene explain that they eventually turned North towards the American border, that Inga and Bob get married and open a pet store in Albuquerque, and that Whitman continues his search for love.



The film received extremely negative reviews, garnering a score of 4% on Rotten Tomatoes.[1]

Mick LaSalle, writing for the San Francisco Chronicle, found this film "dreadful" and "inherently unfunny" after Martha dumps Whitman and he begins stalking her.[2]

Rita Kempley, writing for the Washington Post, assessed this film a "sour, listless debunking of romantic comedies, ... [with] fewer laughs than Looking for Mr. Goodbar" and laments that "Ellen DeGeneres, a comedian and sitcom star in her film debut, [who] is ostensibly the protagonist here" does not control the action, but her character "merely reacts to [Whitman's] twists and turn-ons".[3]

Not every critic was disparaging of the film, however. Martin & Porter gave it three stars, and while acknowledging that "the script is predictable and Nick Castle's direction is only adequate", they found that "DeGeneres's personal charm and a few inspired gags make it all worthwhile".[4]

Ellen DeGeneres earned a Razzie Award nomination for Worst New Star, but lost to Pamela Anderson for Barb Wire.

Box office[edit]

The movie debuted at No. 6.[5]


  1. ^ "Mr. Wrong (1996)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster, Inc. Retrieved 12 July 2012. 
  2. ^ Mick LaSalle, "Little Right About `Mr. Wrong'" San Francisco Chronicle, August 23, 1996, p. D-18
  3. ^ Rita Kempley, ‘Mr. Wrong’ (PG-13), Washington Post, February 17, 1996
  4. ^ Mick Martin & Marsha Porter, DVD & Video Guide 2005 New York: Random House Publishing Group (2004), p. 737
  5. ^ ROBERT W. WELKOS (21 February 1996). "Weekend Box Office : It's a Bull's-Eye for 'Broken Arrow'". L.A. Times. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 12 July 2012. 

External links[edit]