As I sat watching the film, I was just amazed how unfunny it is. Two people who hate each other because of a previous relationship gone badly are now forced to spend time together. There are two major problems with this concept. First, who finds it fun to watch two people argue, fight and hit each other? Second, you know they will get together in the end so there is no suspense in the film. Sounds like a fun time for all, huh?
The other thing that occurred to me is that Jennifer Aniston is just unable to create any chemistry with Gerard Butler. Sure, he is also partially responsible for this, but he is, at least, trying to achieve the right tone for the film. Jovial and lighthearted. Aniston plays Nicole Hurley, a reporter for the Daily News who is trying to uncover a story involving corrupt cops. She is on a mission and very serious, so she doesn't want to let anyone or anything interfere. Unfortunately, when her ex-husband, Milo (Butler), a bounty hunter, receives a job to bring back Nicole, who has skipped bail, she doesn't change her demeanor or outlook at all. She never seems to smile or laugh or flirt. The only time she even approaches this type of behavior is when she is trying to convince Milo that she is interested in him so she can get his gun and break free to continue her investigation. Later, when their relationship reaches that inevitable stage where they are both gaga over one another, she seems like she has stepped into this film from a different movie. It is really strange. She is doing and saying the things you would expect, but since so much time was spent with the other Aniston, this one doesn't connect.
As I sat through this film, I began to think back to other Aniston films. Have I ever seen her create any chemistry with any of her co-stars? In her last film, "Management", she never seems to truly love either Woody Harrelson or Steve Zahn's character. Worse, she seems to tolerate Zahn and put up with his shenanigans. This is a good point because a better actress would be able to convince us of why she is putting up with this guy, this loser, and all of his craziness. "The Break-Up"? Again, fighting with her love interest for over two hours. "Derailed". If you are able to look past the extremely unsettling subject matter, a certified piece of crap. But even in this film, she can't make us believe she is in love or in lust with Clive Owen or Vincent Cassell. "Rumor Has It"? Also a piece of crap. She was okay in "He's Just Not That Into You", but because it was an ensemble cast, she certainly can't be called the star and she didn't carry the film. In fact, "The Good Girl" and "Friends With Money", two small independent films are easily the best she has made but I can't remember any romantic fireworks in either.
There has been a lot of press about the affair Aniston and Butler are having right now. They fell in love on the set and, apparently, are unable to keep their hands off one another, grabbing and touching each other on the red carpet. In front of paparazzi. When promoting this new film… They say that everything old is new again. This is exactly the same type of thing the major studios used to hire hundreds of people to orchestrate, to get publicity for their films. You connect the dots.
Gerard Butler plays Milo, a former cop who now works as a bounty hunter. He seems to have fun with the role, giving his character a certain amount of playfulness and sarcasm. The film opens with Milo chasing one of his skips, a guy playing Uncle Sam in a Fourth of July parade. As Uncle Sam, walking on stilts, walks along with the parade, Milo spots him and starts to chase him. The guy begins running on the stilts and they soon end up in the middle of some cops. Milo makes a smart aleck remark to the cops and they both reveal a high level of animosity towards each other.
Let's return to the director, Andy Tennant. Quick, besides the fact Will Smith starred in the film, name one thing about "Hitch" that you remember? I bet many would even have trouble coming up with the name of his female co-star. There are a few reasons why a studio would link a new film with a previous success. Obviously, they want the people who went to see "Hitch" and 'loved it' to think they will also love "The Bounty Hunter". But did anyone love "Hitch" or was it a success because of Will Smith's involvement? That's a rhetorical question by the way. Another reason is because the filmmaker is so brilliant the studio wants all of their devoted followers to know they have a new film coming out. But if a filmmaker is brilliant, they usually have name recognition followed by their last successful film. For instance, "Shutter Island" trumpeted "The new Martin Scorcese film" or "From the director who brought you "The Departed"". Quite a difference. And the reason for this is Tennant's films are largely forgettable. His most memorable films, "Sweet Home Alabama" and "First Kiss" are sweet, if extremely predictable pieces of romantic fluff. Nothing he has ever made would make someone say "Hey did you see this new film from this director, Andy Tennant?"
Instead, we are more likely to say, "Did you see the new Reese Witherspoon film?"
Thankfully, when someone asks you if you saw the new Jennifer Aniston film you can happily report "No, thornhill warned me not to."