Friday, June 11, 2010

The BC Review: Killers

Fresh off of our good experience catching Get Him to the Greek, my husband and I set out to see another comedy. This time changing it up a bit, and catching the Katherine Heigl -Ashton Kutcher Romantic Comedy (RomCom), Killers.

Of course, as you can probably discern from its off-beat title, Killers, is a bit of a unique RomCom. It’s somewhat shocking, and includes what I believe is supposed to be, funny violence (thus, contributing to this characterization). However, it fails to break away from the mold completely, clearly utilizing the basic RomCom plot line, Boy Meets Girlà Boy Marries Girlà Boy and Girl Argue/Have Disagreementsà Boy and Girl Make-UpàBoy and Girl Live Happily Ever After.

The film opens with Katherine Heigl playing Jen, an attractive blond and the victim of a recent dumping on vacation in the south of France with her parents, Mr. Kornfeldt (played by Tom Selleck) and Mrs. Kornfeldt (played by Catherine O’Hara). Struggling to convince herself that she not a romantic dud, Jen tries to make the best of her situation.

Fast forward to five more minutes into the film and Jen (and we!) are introduced to a shirtless, bathing suit clad, Spencer Aimes (played by Ashton Kutcher) with a secret to hide.

Of course, as this is a RomCom, it is not long before the wooing is in full swing and Jen finds she is head over heels for Spencer. Fortunately for us, the director considerately employs a time-flashing-forward-mechanism and we do not have to sit through several minutes of witnessing various scenes depicting their wedding/ marriage. Rather we are transported to three years in the future, with Jen and Spencer living what appears to be a quiet suburban life.

Unfortunately, this relative domestic bliss is short-lived. Spencer’s sorted past as an employee of the “Blah Blah Blah” who gave him a license to “Blah,” comes spiraling back, resulting in a harsh reality check for Jen and some pretty shocking scenes for us. In an effort to keep the details of the film a surprise, I will cease to divulge any additional specific details, but be forewarned, the film’s title is not without meaning or consequence.

Killers is the latest Heigl-helmed RomCom in recent weeks/months (years?), following a line of hits to include: The Ugly Truth, 27 Dresses, and Knocked Up, and has 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 (yes, you counted correctly) films currently in production. Formerly Izzie Stevens on Grey’s Anatomy Heigl’s attained a substantial fan-base so her rise to movie stardom is not surprising, I just hope she does not go the route of those before her (i.e. Jennifer Aniston) and is quickly type-cast as the Romantic Comedy leading lady of choice for the next 10 years.

The additions of Tom Selleck and Catherine O’Hara to the cast are welcome. Selleck is reminiscent of his recent recurring television role as Monica’s boyfriend on Friends, giving us what we expect; a hyper-masculine, attractive older man with an impressive mustache.

Catherine O’Hara, playing Jen’s alcoholic mom, is arguably the best actress in the flick as she truly demonstrates what real comedic timing and characterization is. If you’re not familiar with her work, this reviewer highly recommends catching Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, Home Alone (although not as funny in that), and Away We Go.

Killers is an OK Romantic Comedy, but could stand some considerable improvement in character development and dialogue (a Quentin Tarantino flick this is not). Katherine Heigl and Ashton Kutcher make a good team in this film genre, but they fail to provide Oscar-winning performances.

The Bee Charmer Review Rating: C+