Just Married

Bomb Rating: 

The primary font for the humor in "Just Married" consists of blows to the head, and in this one regard, Ashton Kutcher seems determined to become the master.

The primary font for the humor in "Just Married" consists of blows to the head, and in this one regard, Ashton Kutcher seems determined to become the master. In the role of new groom Tom Leezak, he gets nailed in the head about a dozen times. The only variation is what object strikes it (door, ashtray, airplane bulkhead) and what sort of wild, floppy pratfall he will take afterwards in the interest of continuing his career in Hollywood. "Just Married" milks this gag over and over again, and when you consider that each head injury scene probably required several takes, it's a miracle that Kutcher isn't spending his waking hours gulping down enough painkillers to choke Chevy Chase.

As far as the family of his bride, Sarah (Brittany Murphy), is concerned, Tom's from the wrong side of the tracks. Sarah's friends and family are such cardboard-cutout richie-poos that they wear pastel sweaters tied around their shoulders and speak exclusively through clenched teeth. Can you believe they would take an instant dislike to poor, uncultured Tom? But Sarah likes him, at least until their honeymoon in Europe, where she discovers that he's poor and uncultured.

The story in "Just Married" is so predictable that it's a stunning commentary on the assumed intelligence of the audience that it begins with a shot of the newlyweds quarreling as they return home from their honeymoon. Director Shawn ("Big Fat Liar") Levy undoubtedly structured things this way to assuage any fear or uncertainty the audience may feel as the movie hurtles through astonishing twists toward a conclusion nearly heretical in its originality. Then we cut to an earlier point in the timeline, and spend an hour watching Tom and Sarah meet, date, marry and go on National Lampoon's European Honeymoon Lite, where Tom insults the locals and various objects go bonk on head.

By the time we're caught up to their quarreling, we have just enough time left for Ashton to recite the impassioned makeup speech that, in movieland, heals all transgressions. However, there's no makeup speech Shawn Levy can make that will ever make up for "Just Married."

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