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Heigl, Panettiere offer up a little romance

When it comes to romantic comedies, it takes a really special combo of actor chemistry and a few surprises in the screenplay to keep moviegoers from checking their watches.
/ Source: msnbc.com

Making a good romantic comedy has never been harder. It seems as though every scenario that involves boy meeting girl has been done and done again. So it takes a really special combo of actor chemistry and a few surprises in the screenplay to keep moviegoers from checking their watches. Will Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler be the next Tracy and Hepburn? How about Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt? Here are five rom-coms that hope to make your heart go pitter-pat.

“The Ugly Truth”
Starring:
Katherine Heigl, Gerard Butler, Eric Winter, John Michael Higgins, Cheryl Hines, Kevin Connolly Director: Robert Luketic Story: Heigl plays a radio morning-show producer who can’t seem to land a man until she starts taking advice from the male shock jock (Butler) who’s been hired to boost ratings. But while she’s falling in love with Mr. Wonderful (Winter), Butler's falling in love with her. Worth seeing? Unlikely. This film just has that “haven’t I already seen this?” feel that so many romantic comedies these days possess. It will be interesting, after all her “Grey’s Anatomy” drama, to see if the fans turn out for Heigl. Director Luketic (“Legally Blonde”) told Entertainment Weekly, “There’s a lot of, shall I say, flagrant banging and swearing and climaxing and squealing.” Frankly, I’ll bet that this film is all talk and no action. Web site: http://www.theuglytruth-movie.com/Release date: July 24

“I Love You, Beth Cooper”
Starring:
Hayden Panettiere, Paul Rust, Jack T. Carpenter, Lauren London Director: Chris Columbus Story: Based on the novel by former “Simpsons” writer Larry Doyle, this film tells the story of a high school valedictorian (Rust) who proclaims his love for the prettiest girl in school (Panettiere) during his graduation day speech. Though at first she’s upset, she and her friends decide to take him out for a night of partying that he’ll never forget. Worth seeing? Doubtful. After movies such as “Superbad,” this feels like a bit of a throwback. What inspired Chris Columbus to make a teen flick? He told Entertainment Weekly, “I thought about ‘Adventures in Babysitting’ and about how much fun I had making that film.” Well, on second thought, if “I Love You, Beth Cooper” has that film’s charm, it could be worth seeing. Web site: http://www.iloveyoubethcoopermovie.com/Release date: July 10

“Paper Heart”
Starring:
Charlyne Yi, Michael Cera, Demetri Martin, Seth Rogen, Jake M. Johnson Director: Nicholas Jasenovec Story: Yi doesn’t believe in love, so she decides to travel across the country making a documentary in which she asks questions about love. But when she starts to fall in love with pal Michael Cera, she becomes the subject of her own documentary. The film is shot in faux-documentary style with all the people playing themselves. The story is fictional, but Cera and Yi are a couple in real life. Worth seeing? Yes. The film won the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Yes, it’s true, this movie is the very definition of “twee,” but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Film Threat’s Jessica Baxter wrote that the film “is an atypical yet authentic romantic comedy for people who normally find such things insufferable. For the record, I am one of those people. And ‘Paper Heart’ charmed the jaded pants off of me.” However, the snarky folks at Movieline.com deemed the film “the kind of thing I’d watch after a painful dumping to remind myself that couples are annoying.” Web site: http://www.paperheart-movie.com/ Release date: Aug. 7

“Post Grad”
Starring:
Alexis Bledel, Zach Gilford, Rodrigo Santoro, Jane Lynch, Fred Armisen, Bobby Coleman, Michael Keaton, Carol Burnett Director: Vicky Jenson Story: Ryden Malby (Bledel) is a recent college graduate who’s finding out just how hard getting that dream job can be. Forced to move back in to her childhood home with her parents (Keaton, Lynch), Ryden quickly realizes she’s going nowhere, so she turns to her best friend (Gilford) and her new neighbor (Santoro) for comfort, advice and maybe a little romance. Worth seeing? Maybe. The good news about this movie is that it has a cast of talented actors in Gilford (“Friday Night Lights”), Lynch (“Party Down”), Bledel (“Gilmore Girls”) and especially the legendary Burnett. The bad news is that it looks a bit like “Reality Bites,” only with parents. Jenson comes out of the world of animation; she co-directed “Shrek” and “Shark Tale.” Web site: http://www.foxsearchlight.com/postgrad/ Release date: Aug. 21

“(500) Days of Summer”
Starring:
Zooey Deschanel, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Clark Gregg, Minka Kelly, Rachel Boston Director: Marc Webb Story: After the independent Summer (Deschanel) dumps hopeless romantic Tom (Gordon-Levitt), he shifts back in time through different moments of their 500 days together and tries to figure out what went wrong. Worth seeing? Yes. OK, another twee movie, but this one looks promising. After seeing it at Sundance, Cinematical’s Erik Davis wrote, “It's a romantic comedy that borrows the best of what's come before it while throwing out the shoddy-looking leftovers.” And Slashfilm.com’s Peter Sciretta wrote that the film “is the type of wonderful charming indie romantic comedy that gives you butterflies while you watch it.”Web site: http://www.foxsearchlight.com/500daysofsummer/ Release date: July 17