If you're anything like me, your stomach turns every time you see a preview for a new romantic comedy. I can spend the rest of this post chronicling exactly what's wrong with these movies. But it's easy for me to sit here and criticize an entire genre of movies. Do I really think I could do any better? Absolutely. Here's the romantic comedy I would make:
Pro-Love starring Jennifer Aniston and Aston Kutcher.* Claire Hasselbeck (Aniston) is a gorgeous, high-powered Manhattan attorney who's in total control of everything in her world ... except for her love life. Try and she might, Hasselbeck just can't seem to find herself a good man. One night, after prematurely ending a particularly unsatisfying Internet date, Hasselbeck decides to get herself good and drunk. After several shots of tequila -- not to mention some hysterical shouted dialogue over a hip techno soundtrack -- Hasselbeck ends up stumbling home with the adorable and charming Kyle Gavin (Kutcher). The following morning Hasselbeck is awakened by a phone call from her pedantic and overbearing boss (played by Tommy Lee Jones), who is wondering why he's explaining to her "goddamn clients" why she's late. Horrified to find herself in a strange place with a pounding headache and no recollection of the previous night's events, Hasselbeck slips out while Gavin shaves his chest in the bathroom.
Two months later, Hasselbeck discovers she's pregnant. Determined not to make the same mistake as her own mother -- a failed avant-garde actress who blames the unexpected birth of her daughter for her lack of commercial success -- Hasselbeck makes an appointment to terminate the pregnancy. At the clinic, just as Hasselbeck convinces herself she's making the right decision, she's introduced to the doctor, who turns out to be Gavin, the man whose baby she's carrying! What follows is a scene of such hilarity that Rulon Mekerbaum of Polygamist Weekly calls it, "Punch-your-third-wife-in-the-face funny." Hasselbeck, still dressed in a patient's gown, bolts from the clinic and starts sprinting down a crowded New York City street with Gavin in hot pursuit. During the chase, Hasselbeck's shoe gets wedged in a sewer grate and, just as a Taxi's about to slam into her lithe figure, Gavin jumps into the frame and saves her life. After some witty banter, Gavin reveals he's been trying to find her since she snuck out of his apartment and begs Hassellbeck to let him buy her a cup of coffee. Hasselbeck declines the offer. However, she does return to the clinic on several occasions. Even though Hasselbeck has good intentions on each of these trips, she always ends up leaving the clinic with her baby bump intact. Soon, she's visiting Gavin so late in her pregnancy that the clinic won't be able to end the pregnancy even if she did "work up the nerve."
During one of these visits, Gavin implores Hasselbeck to "open her heart to what fate is telling her," and to "let me into your life so we can raise this baby together." Hasselbeck, of course, acquiesces and the couple makes tender love on the clinic floor while Maroon 5's "She Will Be Loved" plays in the background. Pro Love doesn't end right there, however. In a stunning twist, Hasselbeck decides to give her biological baby up for adoption so the couple can "start fresh" and instead opts to adopt a child of her own from Africa.
Most memorable scene: In a tribute to one of the great romantic comedies of the twentieth century, Gavin leads the entire abortion clinic waiting room in a rousing rendition of " I Say A Little Prayer."
*Actors subject to change based on market value.