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well. do you?
Three years ago, American film critic Joe Queenan took a swipe at the Katherine Heigl starring ‘Knocked Up’, and what he perceived to be an insidiously misogynistic agenda that allowed males to exist as boys until some uptight hottie could come along to make them into men whilst also giving them the best sex they never thought they would have. He decided that the new wave of romantic comedies ‘are not really upbeat, coming-of-age motion pictures about young male schmucks who are saved by the love of a good woman, but heart-rending tragedies about beautiful young women who are doomed to spend the rest of their lives with juvenile, not especially good-looking dorks’. Heigl seemed to agree calling ‘Knocked Up’, ‘a little sexist’, because it ‘paints the women as shrews, as humourless and uptight, and it paints the men as lovable, goofy, fun-loving guys’. Writing in The Guardian last year, Libby Brooks took her chance to lament the fall of the romantic comedy, pleading ‘Dear Hollywood, can we have some romantic comedies for adults, please?’, before concluding the piece by wishing for a return to ‘the long-gone time when romantic comedy was about eccentric, independent heroines and the grownup men who wanted to be their equals.’
Well click your heels gang, we’ve finally got a romantic comedy where a quirky, kooky, geeky, funny and independent WOMAN, gets to bag the hunky and most definitely grownup (for the first half-hour he talks slowly in a deep voice and stares a lot. That’s a grownup if ever I saw one.) MAN, who craves to be her equal, so much so that he turns his back on his current life to be with her and her quirky ways for the rest of his days. Not only that, but he’s a sort of James Bond figure, running and jumping and swimming and driving and shooting and all that stuff. And women bloody love James Bond types. So that’s good, right?
I’ll be as brief with some plot description as possible because, well, there isn’t really much, and any extended period of time spent thinking about the details of this film will probably force me to regress to the dead-eyed stupor that I left the cinema in, A bit like a Nam vet watching the Deer Hunter. I can’t go back to that place again. So, Heigl gets dumped by her nerdy and unattractive boyfriend just before a trip to Nice with her two parents. In Nice, she bumps into a ripped Ashton Kutcher, they make eyes in a lift, have dinner, fall in love. We know she’s kooky and kerazy because she does funny things like hiding from her dad under a table and a robot voice. We know he’s serious and grown-up because he’s well buff and doesn’t say much, just sort of smoulders. Anyway, where’s the drama in that I hear you say? Where is the tension that could set up some conflict to be resolved in the next hour? I’ll tell you. HE’S A SPY TYPE BLOKE!!! How exciting. But he wants to get out of it, because he’s one of those killers with morals, so he meets the love of his life and turns his back on all the murders and bombings and stuff to settle down in the suburbs. But, three years later, happily married, his past life catches up to him and mayhem ensues.
I’m not normally one to keep hold of a ticket stub when watching a film, but in this case, I’m glad I stuffed it in my pocket instead of just throwing it straight in the bin, because if it wasn’t for finding the crumpled ticket five hours later, I’m not sure I would’ve remembered ever watching ‘Killers’. Looking at the ticket, it still took me a good ten minutes to believe I had actually been to the cinema. (‘Did I watch a film today? I’m sure I can’t remember going to the cinema. There were a few hours where I did something, but I can’t remember there being a film’). Because this is one of the most utterly forgettable films anyone could hope to watch. It’s unmitigated awfulness, sure, but it doesn’t even have the courtesy to be the sort of bad that really annoys and sticks in your mind. It’s just…nothing. Complete nothingness. No script, no jokes, no chemistry between the leads, no plot, no excitement, no romance, no originality. Nothing. Trying to work up any sort of emotion or strong feelings over it is a bit like trying to develop a strong opinion of a Styrofoam cup. But this is a bit unfair to the cup really, at least that’s shown itself to serve a purpose. This film has no point. It exists for no reason. Well, no reason that could bring any comfort to the viewer, I’m sure the cast and crew had a great time In Nice, they make it look lovely.
So see my experience as a cautionary tale, and try not to find yourself in the same situation. Hollywood has once again conspired to make it seem as if Howard Hawks never made a film, and we are left waiting to see if there will ever be a mainstream, multiplex dominating romantic comedy again that has even an ounce of the wit and charm and eloquence and verbosity and gender equality seen in his finest work.
i think because
a) i'm not actually that smart.
b) making funnies papers over any gaps in knowledge. see point a)
c) it's more fun to write seriously about stuff that has no real consequence on anything, than to write seriously on things that matter. and much, much easier. see point a)
Heigl/Knocked up stuff and the brief overview of the recent complaints Re tone in rom-coms unless it can be tied directly into the film you're reviewing. That would probably be trimmed or lead to the piece being spiked. It's a fair piece to write on its own merit, but that would;
a)probably require further watching of recent rom-coms.
b)lead to exposure to SJP
c)lead to excessive alcohol intake to deal with her horsey mutant face
d)wind up with a meandering piece which has all the marks of a repressed traumatic experience with a horse as a child.
and i sort of walk that point directly through to the discussion of the film. and then i return to the state of rom-com stuff at the end to link it in again.
Who would you have aimed this at?
Most film reviews are going to be quite short. Your review was fine (i'd trim the synopsis), but could easily have lead to two pieces.
A review and an accompanying piece on the state of Rom-Com's and the lack of actual romance replaced by unappealing cynicism and borderline misogyny. (200-300 words for review, anything 1200 up for the commentary piece).
Constructive criticism. And personal opinion. And a spelling mistake which I can't be bothered to check.
kutcher has his tits out for most the the first 20 minutes....you never see nipple from Heigl, but boobs are on show, and at one point, kutcher even gives them a kiss.
I wanted to see Superman's Boobs. =(
I would quite like to read this.
When I saw the poster for this film, I immediately thought “Amazing! They’ve made a film in which Katherine Heigl and Ashton Kutcher are a young, good looking, married couple who also happen to be serial killers and move into a sleepy suburb in an attempt to curtail their murderous ways and live regular lives, but, obvz, they just can’t help themselves. Fantastic – a black comedy like they used to make, like Heathers and Serial Mom and Addams Family Values!”
just a cheap re-hash of a million awful things that have gone before it.
Fucking nothing, sucking nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, NOTHING
it's not often a lengthy peice of popculturebullshit writing keeps my attention the entire way through. if it was printed anywhere it would be massively edited I would guess, maybe it is a bit lengthy. but good work anyway
on a side note, are you planning to 'publish' this? (i.e. on the internet, or in print, or where ever else)
i think quality control will always be my problem. not very good at setting myself a word limit and sticking to it, etc etc.