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Playing for Keeps

MV5BMTY1MTU1OTA5NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNTM1MTQyOA@@._V1_SX214_Jessica Biel, Gerard Butler, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Judy Greer, Uma Thurman, Noah Lomax, Dennis Quaid

George (played by Butler) is a retired professional soccer star. He’s now down on his luck – no longer a professional, still just a little bit of a star. He’s trying, without success, to get into sports broadcasting.

George moves to Virginia to try and rebuild his relationship with his young son, Lewis. He agrees to be the soccer coach of Lewis’ team. He realises that he wants to get back with Lewis’ mum Stacey, the love of his life, but he has a lot of work to do there as she’s getting married to some-one else. George needs to sort out his life and grow up before Stacey, or Lewis, will ever trust him again. Will being the soccer coach help him or will he mess it up?

This isn’t a bad rom com. It ticks a lot of boxes and moves at a good pace. However, the film primarily revolves around George and all the female roles (Biel, Zeta-Jones, Greer, Thurman) are there to support him as the lead (mainly to sleep with him!). I think he got too much air time and they got too little. Some big stars got some very minor roles! But apart from that, it’s inoffensive and watchable, as long as you don’t expect too much.

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The Ugly Truth

Katherine Heigl, Gerard Butler

Another great Katherine Heigl flick.  This one’s not as good as Knocked Up, but it’s still worth a watch if you like to see Heigl on the screen (she has such great skin that she glows!).  Butler seems to be type-cast as a bit of blokey-bloke and, as is quite typical of American romantic comedies, the gender stereotypes are rife.

This time Heigl plays Abby, a morning show producer who is a bit too neurotic, a tad too controlling, and a little too particular to find a boyfriend.  Actually Heigl seems to be type-cast as well – she’s the efficient, together, yet slightly-neurotic, career-driven female.

Mike Chadway (Butler) joins her TV station with his segment “The Ugly Truth” – his take on men, women and relationships. He’s sexist and his character is probably just a little too much to bear in the beginning.  However, he mellows as the film goes along, and he becomes much more bearable, likeable, and appealing.

Mike and Abby strike a deal to enable them to be able to work together – Mike will help Abby get her Mr Perfect. If she succeeds, she has to be nice to him at work, and if she fails, he quits the show. Of course, no surprise, Abby and Mike fall in love instead and the ending is happy and smoochy. It’s not one of the Top Ten of rom coms, but it is a good movie if you like Katherine Heigl.

The Bounty Hunter

Jennifer Aniston, Gerard Butler

Butler plays an ex-cop-turned bounty hunter who is assigned to bring in his ex-wife who has skipped bail on an incidental charge.

Aniston, a journalist who is working on a story, is hot on a case involving drugs, murder, and dirty cops. They both get embroiled in the case, hating each other at first, but eventually having to work together.

I hated this movie the first time around. I was unduly influenced by my neighbour and friend, Cassi, who saw it first and didn’t like it. (She is not an Aniston fan, whereas I am.) I was ready for a cracker and this film is certainly no cracker.  But it is a bit better the second time around.

Of course it’s the usual ‘boy gets the girl’ type movie and ends happily with a big smooch. But there are a few adventures along the way to keep the viewer fairly well entertained.

Jen’s tan is far too much, and I really don’t like the tight black number she is wearing for a lot of the film. But aside from Jen criticisms, the film is light, has some action, some laughs, and some romance.

PS I Love You

MV5BNTg2MDg4MjI5NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMzQ0MDczMw@@._V1_SY317_CR0,0,214,317_Hilary Swank, Lisa Kudrow, Gina Gershon, Gerard Butler, James Marsters, Kathy Bates, Harry Connick Jr

Holly and Gerry are waiting until they have everything right before having a baby. But Gerry dies, leaving Holly a very young and distressed widow, and without the future she had hoped for. As she struggles with her grief, she starts to receive a series of letters from her dead husband. Gerry organised for the letters to be posted after he died. They send Holly on a range of adventures in the hope that she eventually becomes strong and sure of herself. They all ended with “PS I love you”.

This movie probably has too many sad parts to be a comedy, but there is one very funny moment when Holly falls off the stage while performing karaoke. Apart from that slapstick moment, you don’t get too many laughs. But the concept is fairly solid, and it can hold its head fairly high in the rom com set.

The major problem for me  is – I just don’t like Hilary Swank. I really don’t want to see her about these parts again. She can stick to action and weird psycho drama thank you very much. Butler has since proved himself to be a part of the rom com troupe and may stay in the genre.

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