Trying to recover from a sudden break-up, Jen Kornfeldt (Katherine Heigl) believes she’ll never fall in love again. But when she reluctantly joins her parents on a trip to the French Riviera, Jen happens to meet the man of her dreams, the dashing, handsome Spencer Aimes (Ashton Kutcher). Three years later, her seemingly impossible wish has come true: she and Spencer are newlyweds living the ideal suburban life – that is, until the morning after Spencer’s 30th birthday when bullets start flying. Literally. It turns out Spencer never bothered to tell Jen he’s also an international super-spy, and now Jen's perfect world has been turned upside down.

Weak script shoots nothing but blanks.

There is something terribly wrong with a romantic comedy when you start looking forward to seeing the supporting characters more than the actual star players.

Here, just watching Catherine O’Hara, I wanted to laugh, even when she didn’t seem to be doing anything. A brilliant comic performer, who practically stole Waiting for Guffman, O’Hara is by far the best thing in this off-white comic farce. Every one of her lines was pitch perfect and expertly timed. Her performance is a test case on how a really fine player can turn in a great piece of acting in a worthless part in a very ordinary movie.

O’Hara plays what was once called a 'lush’ (she’s the kind of screen Mum that needs a good strong belt of liquor before brekkie). True, it’s totally tasteless and even cruel, but in a movie like this one, where the jokes are either tired or sit-com trite, a raised eye-brow from O’Hara is a belly laugh.

In the story, O’Hara is the mother of Jen played by Katherine Heigl, who, along with Ashton Kutcher, gets the top billing. They both look good in the way that people who are groomed for a magazine picture spread always do. Their 'sex appeal’ seems based entirely on what they wear (or perhaps what they’re not wearing). Kutcher produced the film and for the first few minutes of his screen time the movie features his naked torso (he is wearing shorts in these scenes by the way). The voluptuous Heigl plays the movie tucked into outfits designed to appear a size too small. She plays one scene in a bra and skirt. They’re both very convincing at looking good; but they’re just not that interesting or actually sexy or very funny, and even though they are playing a couple, never for a moment do you believe there’s anything really going on between them.

They play a married couple; she’s a ditz and he’s Spencer, a retired CIA killer. Once this is set up, the movie cuts forward in time"¦ It’s three years later and the pair have settled into suburbia. Before you can say 'duck’ it seems there’s a bounty on Spencer’s head. Trusted friends turn out to be killers. It’s a portrait of U.S suburbia as a hot bed of deceit and 'cover-up’. Of course since this is a rom-com the real stakes have nothing to do with getting a bullet but a lot to do with how all this impacts on our 'perfect’ screen couple. Jen is mad at Spencer for not telling her that he was, y’know, a killer. As they escape from one killer after another, they debate the relative merits of Spencer’s life choice (i.e. his lying).

Director Robert Luketic can’t do much with a script that’s simply not very funny; the action is, given the bright-cheesy tone, violent and occasionally quite brutal. But this isn’t 'black’ farce; the humour has no edge to its satire and its targets – the goofiness of suburbia – are too soft.

Apart from O’Hara to look forward to, there is Tom Selleck, who plays Jen’s dad. He’s very funny too. It would have been good to see a movie about these characters. That’s very bad news for Killers.

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In Cinemas 29 July 2010,
Thu, 12/02/2010 - 11