It seems like news about Killers, an apparently god awful spy thriller/comedy starring Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl, closing the Shanghai International Film Festival has recently gotten people in the U.S. a little heated. The fact that this movie, which was called a “brain-deadening collision of high concept and low standards” by the New York Times and earned a whimperingly low 8% on Rotten Tomatoes, may be one of the 20 foreign movies Chinese audiences can see this year led one media outlet to apologize to us.
But if people in the U.S. are to apologize for every bad movie they sent our way, they shouldn’t stop at just Killers – surprisingly or not, this year’s SIFF offers a plethora of lemons from Hollywood! Below, the three worst American flicks that screened in Shanghai.
1. Did You Hear About The Morgans?
In the vein of Killers comes this fish-out-of-water, semi-action, lotta-romcom disaster. The movie stars Hugh Grant as a charmingly bumbly lawyer and Sarah Jessica Parker as SATC‘s Carrie if Carrie was a real estate agent and sends them from the great, grand streets of New York City to Nowhere, Wyoming after they accidentally witness a murder.
The plot is thin enough (I’m pretty sure the Witness Protection Program doesn’t work quite the way the writers think it would), but the characters are even worse. Parker comes off as whiny and conceited as she berates everything un-NYC about her new digs, while Grant… well, acts like he knows he signed on to a terrible movie.
2. Leap Year
Amy Adams plays a girl who, following ye ol’ Irish tradition, plans to propose to her commitment-shy boyfriend in Ireland on February 29. Unfortunately, bad weather intervenes and she’s forced to go on a journey of self discovery through the rolling green hills of Ireland.
If that summary didn’t already cause you to turn green, actually sitting through the hour and 37 minutes of Adams trying to do what she can with a serially unfunny script will. The only thing good about this movie? The amount of Irish puns it generated while being reviewed by snarky critics.
3. When In Rome
When In Rome underutilizes Kristen Bell as a workaholic art director who goes to Rome, makes an ass of herself at her sister’s wedding, and pulls out five coins from a fountain that somehow magically connects her to five errant hearts. When she gets back to New York, she finds herself stalked by four unwanted suitors, and courted by Josh Duhamel. Only, because she found out about the “magic,” she thinks his love for her is a lie.
Hilarity would ensue, except the script is so terrible and the direction so confounding and cliched at the same time, that the movie becomes an exercize in frustration. Maybe the title refers to the fact that all of Hollywood now seems keen on putting their lead actresses in goofy situations that make little to no sense.