The Reel Deal with Luke Baynes: Heartbreakers

There are two good reasons to see Heartbreakers. One is that it is good clean fun, a comedy that is simply silly and doesn’t need nudity or gross-out humor to fill seats.The other is Jennifer Love Hewitt, who, besides opening up endless possibilities for inappropriate jokes to follow up the lead-in, also finally gives an agreeable performance to go with her famously downloadable looks.The rest of the cast is pretty good too, especially Gene Hackman as the chain-smoking cad. In these times of abundantly bleak scripts, actors like Jack Nicholson are content to wait three years for a decent role to come along. Others, like De Niro and Hackman, do everything and hope that quantity will make up for the quality of options open for displaying their once brilliant talents.The principal players are Sigourney Weaver and Hewitt, who play a pair of mother and daughter cons. The basic premise is that the mother marries an eligible and rich bachelor and then the daughter promptly makes him forget his vows. This leads to a divorce settlement and a bundle of hard-earned cash.Not bad. Despite the fact that there are basically two jokes run in tandem throughout and every scene begins with the same downward sweeping crane shot, there is little to hate in David Mirkin’s follow-up to the unfortunately titled Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion.It may be hokey and supremely sluggish in parts, but Heartbreakers is the only clear antidote to the other big comedy in theaters at the moment, the Farelly Brothers-produced Say It Isn’t So. One recalls fluffy drive-in fare; the other has as its central gag a portion of a man’s ear cut off in a barber chair. To put it simply, one has class. The other is trash.