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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this dull romantic comedy finds humor in the violence associated with being an undercover assassin. Characters shoot, stab, and strangle each other throughout the movie, which doesn’t shy away from showing the bloody consequences. The movie’s premise rests on the idea that a man hasn’t been completely honest with his wife about a big part of his former life, but that’s not explored. (Neither is the idea of killing as a profession.) There’s some swearing (including "f--k" and s--t"), but nothing over the top, plus several sexual innuendoes. One character drinks excessively (and she’s actually the funniest of them all).
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
After being dumped by her fiancé, Jen Kornfeld (Katherine Heigl) accompanies her parents to sun-kissed Nice, France, where she unexpectedly falls in love with the dashing Spencer Aimes (Ashton Kutcher). Little does she know he’s a CIA agent specializing in assassinations, and that, in fact, he was “working” when they met. But after meeting her, Spencer decides it’s time to exit the field and settle down. Three years later, however, he gets a fateful call from his old boss that destroys his and Jen’s suburban bliss. Quickly, guns are drawn, knives flashed, and, it seems, the entire town is trying to win a bounty placed on Spencer’s head. Jen will no doubt find out who Spencer really is; what will happen to their marriage then?
Is it any good?
The biggest mystery here is not how two perfectly appealing stars -- Heigl and Kutcher -- could have so little chemistry, but how a movie loaded with fast-paced sequences could be so tiresome. Clunky and curiously listless, despite a storyline thick with chase scenes and shootouts, Killers lugs forward from one plot point to the next with great effort -- not exactly what you look for in a romcom. There’s nothing horribly wrong about it; there’s just nothing impressive and right. The jokes are leaden, the gags tired. Even the villains are boring. When they show up, we’re barely surprised.
Plus, Heigl’s character, Jen, is off-putting to independent women everywhere. She appears all too willing to be infantilized -- her father insists she take a room on the same floor when they check into a hotel, and all she does is roll her eyes, like a teenager would. It’s a sad state of affairs, really, because the supporting actors are fantastic. Catherine O’Hara, especially, is at her screwball best. And never mind about the ending: Confusing at most.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how this movie portrays coupledom and marriage. Is it realistic? Can you imagine getting into a serious relationship while keeping a big secret? Do movies need to be realistic to be good?
What do you think about Jen's character? Is her relationship with her parents healthy? Is she too dependent? Do you know women like Jen? Does this movie reinforce or challenge stereotypes about women?
What do you think about the violence in the movie? How does humor affect the way violence plays out in a movie or on TV? What would be the real consequences of some of the violence seen in the movie?
For kids who love romantic comedy
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.