July 9, 2012

Movie Monday: This Means War

Book Cover I wanted to see This Means War as soon as I saw the trailer.  I think Reese Witherspoon, Tom Hardy, and Chris Pine are all terrific actors.  I like spies and things blowing up, so those seemed liked great elements to liven up a romantic comedy.  The critics hated it, but I can't think of a single critic partial to rom coms.  Thus, I checked This Means War out once my local Redbox had a copy.

Witherspoon is terrific as Lauren, a successful products tester (think Consumer Reports), who gets signed up for a dating website by her married friend.  Her first date is with Tuck (Hardy), a good-looking, charming Englishman.  After her date, she runs into FDR (Pine), and is unimpressed by his womanizing ways, but he wheedles a date out of her anyway.  Of course, the two men aren't a travel agent and boat captain like they claim - they're longtime partners in the CIA and willing to spy on each other and Lauren in order to get the girl.

I thought This Means War was pretty funny, although I wasn't entirely on board with the ending.  It was pretty obvious which guy Lauren would pick, although I thought the other guy was a better choice for her.  (It's obvious because Hollywood has this thing about reuniting divorced couples.  In real life, most divorced people I know prefer to spend as little time as possible with their former partner.) 

Genre-wise, those hoping for a true melding of action movie and rom com will probably be disappointed.  The action is limited to the cold open and the climax.  Unless you count goofy spy antics as action.  I put those under the comedy half of the rom com label.  The couple of action scenes are pretty cool and I liked that Lauren's knowledge from her job was key to saving the day.  (If the men spying on the woman is a little uncomfortable, at least Lauren is never expected to give up her career, friends, or other interests for a relationship.)

This Means War is a perfectly serviceable rom com, though it's no classic of the genre like Witherspoon's career-making Legally Blonde.  The material might be thin but the charismatic and attractive cast is more than game.  While rated PG-13, This Means War falls on the raunchy side.  Mostly verbal jokes, but there are definitely some references parents probably don't want to explain to younger teens.


  1. I really wanted to see this too since the trailer! It wasn't the greatest film but it was enjoyable. Like you said, a perfectly serviceable romcom.

    1. I must admit, I am easy to please when it comes to movies. But this one was definitely more fun than I expected from the reviews.


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