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A Lot Like Love

MV5BMTQyMjU1MTYxNl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMjI2MjgyMQ@@._V1_SX214_Amanda Peet, Ashton Kutcher

Oliver meets Emily en route to New York after she breaks up with her boyfriend and they have a fling. Three years later, back in LA, another break up, and her and Oliver get together again. Two years on, he has the breakup and goes running to Emily (…and so on!). Sometimes they are living in different cities, sometime when they try and get together, one of them is in a relationship. The timing is bad for Oliver and Emily, but they know that there is something there, something worth pursuing. Nine years on, Emily is engaged. Have they left it too late?

There’s something I don’t like about Amanda Peet, no hair style seems to suit her, and she is no match for Ashton Kutcher. She seems wrong for the part and I haven’t seen her in anything rom commy post this flick except for Something’s Gotta Give.

Apart from this issue with Peet, the flick is not much chop. Kutcher plays much better roles later on in his rom com career with Valentine’s Day, What Happens in Vegas, Killers and particularly No Strings Attached. This one would only be worth watching if you’re a huge Kutcher fan.

 

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New Year’s Eve

Sarah Jessica Parker, Hilary Swank, Katherine Heigl, Michelle Pfeiffer, Zac Efron, Halle Berry, Robert De Niro, Jessica Biel,  Jon Bon Jovi, Sofia Vergara, Ashton Kutcher, Lea Michele, Abigal Breslin

This film is following the lives of a bunch of people in the lead up to New Year’s 2011 in New York. There is a single mum and her daughter, an unhappy employee trying to discover herself and happiness, jilted lovers looking for a fresh start, two couples giving birth and fighting for prize money, some-one dying, rock stars, failed relationships, missed opportunities – and New Year’s Eve will make everything right…

It is, of course, very similar to Valentine’s Day. All the storylines run parallel to each other, and some of them eventually come together.

In my opinion, too many stars is often too many stars. Sometimes you can get impatient waiting for the stories to have a point, or waiting for them to link up. But while you’re waiting, up pops another star!

There were some sad moments that made me cry, but not much to make me laugh. I found this film embarrassingly bad, it tried too hard, and wasn’t worth waiting to see.

No Strings Attached

MV5BMTg2MDQ1NTEzNl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwOTgxNTMyNA@@._V1._SY317_Natalie Portman, Ashton Kutcher

Portman plays Emma, a young doctor who is emotionally distant and fiercely independent.  She first meets Adam (Kutcher) at 14, and they meet up again from time to time over the years. Until one day, they meet up and have sex. In order to stay friends and not complicate the relationship while they have all this casual sex, they make a ‘no strings attached’ pact. Predictably, the pact can’t work because they develop deep feelings for each other – feelings that have probably been there all along.

The film plays a little bit with some stereotypical gender roles – reversing them to make Adam needy and wanting a real relationship; and Emma the one who is seriously avoiding a relationship situation.  “…I’ll just end up with a broken heart and a bunch of his old t-shirts”.

Portman manages to give this rom com an edge that others have been lacking lately. She is feisty and strong, but she’s not nutty – she’s not the typical rom com protagonist with the typical gags.

Great supporting roles are played by Kevin Kline, Lake Bell (What Happens in Vegas, and It’s Complicated), Olivia Thirlby (Juno and New York I love You) and Greta Gerwig.

I was disappointed when this film started to wind up as I did want to see more of Portman and Kutcher together. This rom com definitely had something a little more than what I’ve been watching lately. Both Portman and Kutcher were excellent, and there were some very funny parts without going overboard. Highly recommend it, and would watch it again.

Killers

Katherine Heigl, Ashton Kutcher

Heigl plays Jen, a newly single young woman going on holidays to Nice with her parents.  In Nice she meets Spencer (Kutcher) who is, unbeknown to her, an assassin. On meeting Heigl, falling in love, and marrying her (oh yes it happens ever so quickly in the movies!)  he gets out of the business to seek a normal life in the suburbs. They manage ‘normal’ for three years but then Spencer is unwittingly dragged back into the killing scene, which is when Jen finds out about his past.

The shorts for this movie had me very excited and I couldn’t wait for the DVD to come.  But it didn’t make it into the ‘top flicks’ recommendations. In fact, it gets a bit boring in the middle with lots of shooting and car chasing and crashing.  And that’s because it’s technically not a romantic comedy – it’s an action comedy, rather in the vein of  Mr and Mrs Smith. So it’s my own fault – expectations just a little too high.

However, as Heigl is probably my top 21st century romantic comedy actor (she can really do no wrong) it’s still an enjoyable flick and a good one for the couch on Saturday night.

What Happens in Vegas

Cameron Diaz, Ashton Kutcher

Diaz plays Joy, recently dumped by her fiance. Kutcher plays Jack, recently fired by his father. They both take off for Vegas with their BFFs and hook up. They marry in true drunken Vegas style and win a lot of money.

Back home, they go to court and the judge sentences them to work out their marriage, putting their winnings on hold until they do. They have to fake a happy marriage to get their hands on the money.

They start out hating each other, and in true romantic comedy style, they end up falling in love. Sounds boring, but it’s not too bad. There’s a bit part by Krysten Ritter (who you know I love), and the BFFs are pretty funny throughout. Not clever, not laugh out loud, but worth a watch for the outrageous Vegas partying.

Valentine’s Day

too many stars to mention, here are a few…Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Garner, Anne Hathaway, Julia Roberts, Ashton Kutcher, Taylor Swift etc etc

This film is a little bit like He’s Just Not That Into You – with all the star parts, all the relationships, all the friends, and all the story lines that coincide nicely together as the film moves along.

So it’s Valentine’s Day and everyone is looking for love, looking for commitment, looking for friendship. Some get what they want, and some don’t. And as this is a rom com, it’s all good in the end. Not everyone gets love – if you’ve been bad you get a dose of justice! And there’s a couple of surprising twists to upset the rom com predictability.

I liked this film much better the second time around, but if you’re an incurable romantic, you’ll like it on the first viewing.

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