This Means War

This Means War (2012)
Chick Flick Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ½ (3.5/5)
Film Rating: ★ ★ (2/5)
Boyfriend friendly: Yes! Lots of explosions & your guy def had a dude-crush on Tom Hardy in Inception.

If a deadly terrorist with a German(?) accent had you at gunpoint… would you choose to spend the rest of your life making steamy, hot lovin’ with Tom Hardy (devilishly handsome, British) or Chris Pine (blue-eyed beauty, flawless complexion)?

Unfortunately poor Lauren Scott (Reese Witherspoon) has just that very problem! Struggling to get back in the game after catching her long-term boyfriend doing the nasty with a pilates instructor, Lauren’s best friend Trish (Chelsea Handler) makes her one helluva online dating profile. Within seconds, “travel agent” and single FILF, Tuck (Hardy), messages her and they have a casual but chemistry-flared first date. But for whatever reason the date ends by, like, 4PM (judging by my internal sundial), so Lauren stops to rent a movie on her way home. It just so happens, this video store is frequented by ladies man FDR (Pine), who hangs there to prey on single women. (Perhaps FDR should’ve had the initials “JFK” instead?) Of course, Lauren doesn’t fall for his suave shtick, and he’s all the more into her because of it. Since Lauren’s a top product tester for a consumer magazine, deciding between the two should be no problemo. But what she doesn’t know is that Tuck and FDR are BFFs/CIA partners…and they’ve declared war over her.

Now, before I go any further, I have to ask two questions:
1) Can someone find me the dating site that has one guy as perfect as Tom Hardy?
Cause generally IF they do happen to actually look as hot as their profile photo portrays (which is a less than 1% chance), then they have a major personality flaw, like severe anger management issues. Not that I speak from experience or anything…
2) Are video rental stores even around anymore?! I know this script was written 10 years ago, but doesn’t every script go through re-writes? There wasn’t ONE other place Lauren and FDR could have met? Cause even if there is one store left somewhere, I’m pretty sure a top product tester like Lauren would know that Netflix is the better only way to rent.

Those logistics aside, I did enjoy watching This Means War. It aimed to strike the same chords as Charlie’s Angels, another McG directed chick flick. Although not as successful, it certainly had its fair share of action-packed thrills, laughs, and cheesy romance. Were there a ton of plot holes? Of course. Did I see the ending coming from a mile away? Sure did. Did Tuck and FDR destroy an entire restaurant during a fight, but somehow the managers/patrons disappeared into thin air? Um, yes. So why was I able to enjoy This Means War when I hated the similar One For The Money? Easy: the acting. With a different cast, this movie could’ve been a complete fail. But these actors have fun with their roles and create hysterical chemistry between Lauren/Tuck, Lauren/FDR, Trish/her cheeto-eating husband, and of course, the Tuck/FDR bromance. Tuck & FDR’s attempts to win over Lauren are creepy but in a pathetically endearing and AWESOME way, requiring FDR to rescue an “old bastard of a dog”, Tuck to whoop a little kid’s ass in paintball, and for both of them to take severe liberties with the Patriot Act.

Sometimes it’s nice to go to a movie you can just enjoy and not think too hard about. So I recommend seeing This Means War in theaters when you need a little break from real life. In the meantime, comment below and let me know who you would choose! I’m Team Tom. Yes, obviously because he’s British. But also because I have a bit of a personal vendetta against Chris Pine after he replaced Robert Schwartzman in The Princess Diaries 2. I never fully recovered from that sequel…

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One For The (Gimme Back My) Money

One For The Money (2012)
Chick Flick Rating: ♥ ♥ (2/5)
Film Rating: (1/5)
Boyfriend friendly: There is shooting, car explosions, & a millisecond of Katie Heigl side-boob action.

If the highlight of a movie is the trailer you see before it, something’s up. (BTW if you haven’t seen the trailer for “The Lucky One,” the latest Nicholas Sparks installment starring ZAC EFRON, watch it here after reading my review. Tip: Pause at 2:07, pretend it’s your hand down Zac’s pants, & let out a big “Have Mercy” in your best Uncle Jesse voice.)

One For The Money is based on the best-selling novel by Janet Evanovich, about Stephanie Plum: lingerie-salesperson-turned-bounty-hunter, whose first job is to bring in bail-skipping murder suspect Joe Morelli…who happened to take her virginity when she was 17 on the floor of a Tasty Pastry. Now, movies are never as good as the books they’re adapted from. I accepted that a long time ago, and generally do an OK job separating the two. But I don’t think they even tried here – which is a shame, considering this is an 18-part & counting book series with serious franchise potential. Even if you haven’t read the books (major mistake on your part), it should be obvious what a horrendous effort this was.

I have deemed myself a Katherine Heigl champion, defending her harshly criticized work in 27 Dresses, The Ugly Truth, and Life As We Know It. And I’m still not going to criticize her. I’m going to criticize the people who cast her. What part of Stephanie Plum – a clumsy, brunette bounty hunter with a thick Jersey accent – screams Katherine Heigl?
I honestly would’ve preferred it if they lost the painfully wrong accent and sloppy dye job and just let her do her thing. Or if they cast someone like Anne Hathaway who has that “I’m awkward but hot” vibe down. Bringing me to the bigger question…

…WHO in the casting department was Irish actor Jason O’Mara sleeping with to get the role of Joe Morelli: Italian heartthrob with hard muscle, black hair, and Mediterranean complexion?! He’s a decent actor but was there no just-as-decent Italian-looking actor? Milo Ventimiglia pulled off that Italian badass thing real well in Gilmore Girls/Rocky VI. If these casting directors find work in Hollywood again it’s only because of their choice with Sherri Shepherd as Lula. She was hysterically fantastic!

I still gave this a Rom Com rating of 2/5 “hearts”. There were some good laughs, the premise is great, and it was slightly better than that other Jersey-based bounty hunter romcom (What was that called again?). If you haven’t read the books, read them. If you haven’t seen the movie, wait till it’s on Netflix. Thankfully, I got a 1/2 price ticket through Groupon. Otherwise this Jersey girl might be going bounty hunter on Lionsgate’s ass.