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Just Married (12A)



Review by: Jack Foley | Rating: One

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Making of; Deleted scenes (with optional commentary); Comedy Central: Reel Comedy.

YOUNG love takes a turn for the worst in Just Married, the type of slapstick romantic comedy that audiences are likely to want to divorce themselves from at the earliest opportunity.

Ashton Kutcher and Brittany Murphy star as the opposites who attract when the former misplaces a football throw and hits her on the head.

Following a whirlwind romance, the two get hitched and jet off to Europe for a disastrous honeymoon - returning back to America at the point of separation.

Robert Simonds’ movie picks up as they get off the plane and then relays, via flashback, the disasters that befell the happy couple as their dream vacation turned into a nightmare.

Intended as a contemporary version of the classic screwball comedies of old, Just Married merely feels tired and routine from the start, relying too heavily on cheap laughs and lazy scenarios.

Kutcher and Murphy have chemistry, but are ill-served by some unfunny plot arcs and some truly dire characterisation.

Hence, Kutcher’s whining late night radio traffic reporter comes across as deeply unsympathetic (particularly when remonstrating with Europeans about their inability to speak English), while Murphy’s wealthy writer seems far too perfect from the outset.

Sam Harper’s screenplay, apparently based on his own chaotic experiences while on his honeymoon in Italy 15 years ago, is also found wanting, failing to make the most of any comic potential and feeling borrowed from other, better, movies.

Bodily functions are frequently called upon to ‘rescue’ situations, as in the moments when the couple attempt to join the mile-high club or arrive at a one-star hotel in Venice, while certain plot points feel lifted straight out of other movies, as in the dog out of the window gag, courtesy of There’s Something About Mary.

Harper also attempts to gain mileage out of his characters’ names, with Murphy’s mother informing Kutcher early on that he can refer to her as ‘Pussy’.

There are moments when events can’t help but raise a smile, of course, and Murphy exudes a natural effervescence that makes her extremely watchable (her good looks help too!!!), but the plus points are few and far between.

The best that can be said for Kutcher is that this is nowhere near as bad as his last stinker, Dude, Where’s My Car?

But by the time the story reaches its predictably sentimental finale, and the love-sick couple reunite, you’ll probably be wanting to reach for the sick bag instead of cheering.

 

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