The first romantic comedy of the year sets the bar high for all the future films in the genre that follow this year.
Katherine Heigl tries to continue on the success of last summer’s Knocked Up with this better than average romcom. The story stays fairly traditional and predictable but it does everything very well and remains consistently funny through out. Heigl is great in the lead and plays the kind of crazy wedding obsessed woman pitch perfectly without ever really being sappy. She is also allowed the opportunity to play the role with some cynicism as the story goes on, which might again be a bit par for the course for the genre but she plays it very well and funny.
What really makes the film work though is James Marsden. He is charming, cynical, and funny and breathes fresh air into the “right” guy role in a romcom. Marsden’s scenes are the highlights of the film and the chemistry between him and Heigl is very believable.
The supporting roles also do admirable jobs with Edward Burns as the “dream guy” being likeable and not a hidden jerk stereotype you might be used to seeing. Malin Akerman does her job of being eye candy, but doesn’t come across like Heigl’s character portrays her sometimes which makes it hard to hate her, but then again, we don’t really need too.
That is where my main issue is, in that every romantic comedy feels the need to make someone a bad guy or make it ok to trash someone. I wish things would have been less contrived with natural obstacles that didn’t need to be trashed or burned, even if they weren’t quite fair to the lead. We really can’t feel terribly sympathetic for Heigl and we feel sorry for the trashed party after it happens, but then they try and turn it into a positive for Heigl and it just doesn’t work.
In the end thought, the movie is a very enjoyable romantic comedy, with some great work by the leads and a fresher take the genre that avoids most of the sap that comes with these pictures. So don’t dread this if you’re dragged to it and get ready to enjoy if you are looking forward to it.