The Bail Enforcement Officer 

Tracking Jennifer Aniston in The Bounty Hunter

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THERE'S AMPLE PRECEDENT for the cinematic liberties The Bounty Hunter takes in order to generate sexual tension between its chemistry-free romantic leads. Remember Mrs. Doubtfire? At least no one in The Bounty Hunter sets their fake boobs on fire.

Not that I'm implying that Jennifer Aniston's boobs are fake.

Aniston plays Nicole, a hard-nosed reporter whose ass is an endless source of fascination to the men in her office (her totally real boobs, less so). She's recently been arrested for assaulting a police officer (pish!). When she misses her court date because she's got a lead on a hot cop corruption story, the judge finds her guilty and puts a warrant out for her arrest. (Or... something. I'm not exactly clear on how justice worked in this situation.) Enter her ex-husband Milo (Gerard Butler), a former cop now working as a bail enforcement agent, which is a less-cool way of saying "bounty hunter." Milo's assigned the envious task of catching his felonious ex and turning her over to the police. After breaking into Nicole's apartment, deleting her TiVo queue, and rubbing Doritos dust on her pillow (is this really what jilted men fantasize about?), Milo manages to track Nicole down at the racetrack. She's a wily one, but he chases her through the crowded racetrack, across a parking lot full of people, and finally nabs her. Then, just to be on the safe side, he shoves her into the trunk of his car.

(After years of reviewing movies like this one, I've atrophied into one spectacularly humorless feminist, so I will simply note here that stuffing ladies into car trunks is and should be frowned upon, even if you are a bail enforcement agent. I mean, bounty hunter.)

Various bad guys strongarm the plot into action-flick territory (guns are fired, cars are crashed), and then Jennifer Aniston twitches her nose and transforms it back into a romcom. Nicole and Milo take turns handcuffing each other unsexily to various bedframes, but unfortunately it never goes all Gerald's Game. Instead, bad guys are thwarted, mysteries are solved, and marriage vows are renewed.

The labored marriage of action and romance is clearly designed to make this date movie more palatable to dudes. Dudes, don't fall for it. Ladies, don't let him shove you into the trunk.

Speaking of...

The Bounty Hunter
Rated PG-13 · 106 min. · 2010
Official Site: thepursuitbegins.com
Director: Andy Tennant
Writer: Sarah Thorp
Cast: Gerard Butler, Jennifer Aniston, Christine Baranski, Jason Sudeikis, Natalie Morales, Cathy Moriarty, Daisy Tahan, Siobhan Fallon, Ruby Feliciano and Dorian Missick

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