This weekend I did something I hardly ever do. I went to see a movie by myself. [Well, my husband and the kids were in a different theater, so maybe it doesn’t really count], but I enjoyed it nevertheless. It was mostly fun because the theater was nearly empty – nobody yakking on a cell phone, no one kicking my chair. I sat with my chocolate covered raisins and had a fine time.
I picked THIS MEANS WAR because it’s gotten marginally good reviews and it looked cute. I wasn’t expecting epic romance, and I certainly didn’t get epic romance, but for a romance novelist, the movie had it’s interesting points.
The plot follows Lauren [Reese Witherspoon], a product tester, whose insane married best friend [Chelsea Handler] posts her profile to a dating site, which ends up snagging her earnest and lonely CIA agent Tuck [Tom Hardy]. After a great first encounter with Tuck, Lauren is wandering through a nearby video store where she bumps into Tuck’s partner, FDR [Chris Pine]. They don’t hit it off at all, but he pursues her anyway because he’s that kind of guy, always looking for a challenge. When Tuck and FDR discover they’re both dating the same girl, they forge a gentleman’s agreement to let the lady choose between them and they vow to respect her decision.
Of course, they plan to do everything they possibly can [and most of it illegal] to influence her decision.
What I liked about the movie:
1. Two hunky male leads. I have to admit, through a good portion of the movie I was distracted by Chris Pine’s incredibly blue eyes – and by thinking about the next Star Trek movie…
2. The bromance rivalry between Tuck and FDR – they fight over Lauren relentlessly, but they fight harder to keep their deep friendship intact. It’s cute.
3. FDR’s evolution – he’s the ‘bad boy’ of the team and yet he falls fastest and hardest for Lauren and it changes him. That’s the stuff good romance novels are made of.
What I didn’t like:
1. Chelsea Handler – as Lauren’s manic, potty mouthed best friends she was abrasive and mostly ridiculous.
2. Lauren – she spends most of her time whining about how conflicted she is by dating two gorgeous guys. Poor girl. [eye roll here]
3. The over the top stuff – of course there were wild car chases and explosions. I can forgive those, but the scene where [SPOILERS - highlight to read] both men tiptoe around Lauren’s apartment planting bugs and she’s so busy singing to herself she doesn’t notice? Seriously. Way to make the heroine look utterly out to lunch, and speaking of lunch, the scene where Tuck and FDR beat the daylights out of each other in a restaurant and when it’s all over and they’re lying amidst upended tables and broken glass, there’s not a single staff member there calling the police on them?
Over all, the movie was watchable, and it did have it’s funny moments, though there could have been a lot more comedy. It was entertaining, but I recommend waiting for the rental.