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The Big Wedding

MV5BMTcwODUwMjg2Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMTc2NzkxOA@@._V1_SX214_Katherine Heigl, Diane Keaton, Amanda Seyfried, Susan Sarandon, Robert De Niro, Topher Grace, Robin Williams, Ben Barnes

Don and Ellie have three children – Lyla, Jared and Alejandro. Alejandro, their adopted son, is getting married. Don and Ellie have been long divorced, but pretend to still be married when Alejandro’s Columbian mother comes for the wedding. Don’s new partner, Bebe (Ellie’s old best friend), is not too pleased with this arrangement. But it’s meant to keep the peace.

Lyla and Jared bring their own problems with them to the big wedding, as if the day couldn’t get more complicated!

This was supposed to be the big rom com for 2013. But I don’t think it was a great success. You can’t fault the acting from some of Hollywood’s finest, but the story doesn’t come together with the bang it could of. Perhaps there are too many story lines. I think the days of the all-star cast at one time in one rom com are over. Disappointing.


One for the Money

Katherine Heigl, Jason O’Mara

Heigl plays Stephanie Plum from Trenton, Jersey. In desperation for quick cash, she goes to work for her cousin Vinnie at his bail bonds business. She takes up her bounty hunter role with relish, but is even more inspired when she goes after the guy who she lost her virginity to in high school, Joe Morelli. Morelli is a cop who jumped bail for a shooting. Plum hotly pursues her FTA (failure to appear) for the $50,000 reward. But eventually she realises Morelli is innocent and works with him to help clear his name. Her involvement in the case starts getting people killed, and when she fears for her own safety, she calls in bounty hunter extraordinaire, Ranger (the Donatello of all bounty hunters) to help her.

Heigl is completely at home with her Jersey accent, as she is with a little action in her rom coms. There are a range of relationships that are beautifully explored in this film: the family who she sees regularly for dinner and who are trying to find her a new husband; two hookers acting as her informants; her high school friend who is the local cop; Ranger as he helps her become a bounty hunter; and with Morelli who becomes the love interest. My only criticism of this film is that Stef has a best friend she regularly calls in the beginning of the film, but she’s forgotten later on – should have been left out altogether.

This movie is a cracker! Heigl obviously likes this type of film (see Killers) and is totally at her best. The two street prostitutes are hilarious, and the Stephanie Plum narrative throughout is witty and charming. There is a bit of tension and excitement, peppered with potential romance. I’m glad to see that Heigl is yet to disappoint me.

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.

Life as we know it

Katherine Heigl, Josh Dushamel

Heigl plays Holly – a driven, organised, and clear-thinking caterer and businesswoman. She admits to being a bit of a control freak during the film, and this is a very common role for Heigl to play (see Knocked Up and The Ugly Truth in particular).  She meets Eric, known as Messer, (Dushamel) when their best friends set them up on a blind date. They don’t like each other and the date is a disaster before it even gets off the ground. (We do see this theme pop up in a lot of rom coms eg What Happens in Vegas and The Ugly Truth.)

Holly and Messer continue to see each other regularly, following the lives of their friends through marriage, childbirth, and birthday parties. They continue to dislike each other. When the friends are killed in an accident, they are thrust together to care for the child Sophie. And this is where they take the journey towards love and romance.

There is one sad part in the movie where you might shed a few tears. But then you get back to the two characters falling for each other, as they work out how to be parents.

It’s an okay movie, just okay, not great, but not bad either. It’s funny to see those familiar ‘bit part’ actors springing up (the woman from The Back-Up Plan who runs the single mums’ group plays a mum in this movie too, this time in the suburbs and not single – she’s great!). It’s not a ‘Top Flick’, but if you are a Heigl fan as I am, you do have to see it. Both Josh Dushamel and Josh Lucas are mega gorgeous.  Holly, much like Abby in The Ugly Truth, manages to help the Alpha Male lose the bullshit and turn back into the nice guy he once was – a familiar and characteristic theme in the 21st Century rom com.


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.

27 Dresses

Katherine Heigl, James Marsden, Malin Akerman, Edward Burns

Heigl plays Jane, who has been a bridesmaid 27 times. She meets Kevin Doyle who writes a newspaper wedding column. Surely he must love weddings as much as she does. No, he is cynical and jaded and they couldn’t possibly be meant for each other.

Jane believes she is meant to be with her boss, George. But when Jane’s sister arrives in town she falls for George. They decide to get married, throwing Jane off course – she can’t possible be a bridesmaid again!

Judy Greer is pretty funny as Jane’s best friend – every good romantic comedy needs a funny best friend. Often, I actually like the best friend better (eg Krysten Ritter) because she is usually a bit more edgy.

This movie comes close to fitting into my Top Ten – it’s harmless, it’s a little funny, it’s as light as air, and Heigl is charming. Don’t overthink it.


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.

Knocked up

Katherine Heigl, Seth Rogan, Paul Rudd, Leslie Man, Kristen Wiig, Jason Segal, Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill, Martin Starr

Alison and Ben (Heigl and Rogan) are complete opposites. He needs to straighten up, and she needs to lighten up. When they hook up on a drunken one night stand, he gets her pregnant. Now they have to form some kind of relationship, starting with getting to know each other, and trying to like each other.

Alison lives with her sister Debbie (Leslie Mann) and her husband Peter (played by Paul Rudd). Their relationship has a few problems of its own, which has an influence on how Alison and Ben think about their future. Will they even have a future together considering they are so ill suited?

This is a very funny movie, with much of the humour supplied by Jason Segal, Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill, and Martin Starr – Ben’s friends and housemates. This was the first rom com where I saw Heigl and I loved her straight away. This is a fast and funny film, with great acting, and lots of hilarious ‘bit’ parts (Wiig playing one in particular). Classic rom com, one of my favourites.

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