Sweet Merciful Crap

Elizabeth and Ryan started as catalogue models, you know“Music and Lyrics” did solid business when it opened on Valentine’s Day last year — on a Wednesday and everything — so the studios have gone all bandwagony, opening no less than four movies nationally.

“Definitely, Maybe”: If someone asked Richard Curtis to put his trademarked rom-com spin on “How I Met Your Mother”, it might go a lot like this — or so writer-director Adam Brooks would have us believe. Except that Curtis is the guy who wrote “Bridget Jones’s Diary”, and Brooks is the guy who wrote the awful sequel, so we’re already working at a loss. And Ryan Reynolds really need to let someone else start picking his scripts for him. (For what it’s worth, Chris liked it considerably more than I did.)

Jumper“: After “Go”, “The Bourne Identity” and “Mr. & Mrs. Smith”, all of which were smarter and sharper than they needed to be, Doug Liman takes one giant step backward with this incoherent action dud. A great deal of money was thrown at every aspect of the production, but that’s no consolation.

Step Up 2 The Streets“: Yes, it’s utterly and unapologetically formulaic — so much so that when the sound dropped during a crucial dialogue exchange during a preview screening, no one was too worried about missing anything because they knew exactly what was being said anyway. But sometimes a well-executed formula film is all you need … particularly when the other films opening against it are “Definitely, Maybe” and “Jumper”.

Also opening today: “The Spiderwick Chronicles”, which Chris reviews here. Kids and visual effects, just in time for Valentine’s Day. I guess there’s something to be said for counterprogramming.