In the actresses’ case the question becomes: Which came first, Katherine Heigl’s inability to pick good movies or Hollywood’s inability to make good romantic comedies? Since her first major big screen starring role in 2007’s “Knocked Up,” Heigl has given us one uninspired romantic comedy after another. “27 Dresses,” “The Ugly Truth,” this week’s “Killers” (which wasn’t screened for critics – always a good sign) and the upcoming “Life As We Know It.” If you think you’ve seen these movies before, and better, you probably have – “Four Weddings and a Funeral,” “Woman of the Year,” “True Lies” and “Baby Boom.”
Now, I have nothing really against Katherine. I appreciated how she had T.R. Knight’s back during the whole “Grey’s Anatomy” gay slur kerfuffle. And I have no problems with her acting abilities or outspokenness. But it’s the kind of movies she is selected – bland, generic, uninspired fare that reinforces the uptight single woman stereotype – that makes me and a lot of other people cranky. We could spend hours, days, weeks pondering the five Ws: who, what, when, where and why did people think these movies were a good idea? Which, of course, leads us back to out original question. Is she making bland, generic, uninspired rom-coms because that is all that is out there for actresses or does her taste in rom-coms just really stink? I would say it’s probably a little of both. Yes, romantic comedies have become rote and formulaic. But, no, Katherine isn’t the only one with a long list of crap rom-coms on her resume. (Hey, Jennifer Lopez! Sup, Jennifer Aniston! Hola, Kate Hudson!)
So what’s a gal who admittedly enjoys a nice, cozy rom-com from time to time to do in the face of a cineplex full of Katherine Heigl movies and their unillustrious ilk? Seek indie fare? Retreat to Netflix? Read a Jane Austen novel? Chicken, egg –who knows. I just know I cannot endure any more “unlikely suitor, high-concept hijinks, unnecessary obstacle, true love, happy ending.”
p.s. This does not, in any way, excuse the men who make crap rom-coms. Yes, Ashton Kutcher, I mean you – put down that Nikon, stop Twittering and start making movies that don’t suck.