A romantic comedy cannot survive on good looking leads alone, as evident by the likes of Love Happens, Bride Wars and now Killers. Directed by Robert Luketic, of Legally Blonde and The Ugly Truth ‘fame’, and written by Bob DeRosa (screenwriter of the critically panned The Air I Breathe) and Ted Griffin (Ocean’s 11), the latest Katherine Heigl vehicle seems to be having a bit of an identity crisis. Part action flick, part thriller, part romance and part comedy, the film fails to live up to its predecessors; Mr and Mrs Smith, Bonnie and Clyde... even The Bounty Hunter is a superior film thanks to the faultless charms of Jennifer Aniston. Heigl and co-star Ashton Kutcher have zero chemistry but to be fair, they don’t have much to work with script-wise.
Unlucky in love and newly single Jen (Heigl) is holidaying in Nice with her parents (Tom Selleck and Catherine O’Hara) when she has a chance encounter with the tall, dark and handsome Spencer (Kutcher). A whirlwind romance evolves into marriage and three years later they are living the picture perfect suburban life. Unfortunately for Jen, she is unaware of her husband’s former life as a spy and on his 30th birthday everyone is out to get him. A seemingly simple and entertaining story turns into one of the most ridiculous plots to hit the big screen, culminating in an unpredictably daft anti-climax.
Heigl seems to have replaced Kate Hudson (Alex and Emma, Raising Helen, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Bride Wars) as the go-to girl for rom-coms, having appeared in Knocked Up, 27 Dresses and The Ugly Truth. Hudson has recently stepped outside her comfort zone with a role in the musical Nine and a surprising performance in the dark thriller The Killer Inside Me, and Reese Witherspoon is another example of an actress who can do more than just rom-coms. Perhaps it’s time for Heigl to become more risky when it comes to her choice of roles. As for Kutcher, his goofy charm carried otherwise mediocre films such as Just Married and Valentine’s Day, but those stunning topless scenes weren’t enough to keep me hooked. However it was a refreshing change to see a man objectified in a chick flick rather than a woman, especially considering women are the primary audience. The Ma & Pa supporting cast also fail to live up to their potential, with Selleck’s moustache taking centre stage. Hopefully the Cameron Diaz and Tom Cruise blockbuster Knight and Day will successfully combine star power, a decent script and great direction.