Movie posters don’t really aspire to art—they’re just signage, something to flash on the monitor behind whoever it is that anchors Access Hollywood these days—but romantic comedy posters remain particularly uninspired. Even the classy productions get eyesores that work on the level of hog-calls:

Feel better, single ladies. Your time will come!

Then there’s the teeth. The big…white…flesh-tearing…teeth. Please don’t drink my blood, Kate Hudson!

Do you know that boyfriends make good mules?

Wacks Factor!

Then there’s the inane and the inexplicable. Did they really make a movie about Sandra Bullock pooing in her miniskirt?

And every so often the posters just come out and admit that their movies are suicide-hotlines for the romantically forlorn. “Don’t open your veins! Come see me instead!”

Anyway, what brought all this on was this poster, which jumped out at me the very first time I saw it:

That was at least two months ago, and even now I find it pulling my eyes to one side as I come slogging out of the subway every night. I have to admire its craft even as I hate, well, pretty much everything else about it. There’s Portman’s carefully calibrated freshly-fucked tousledness, it confirms that Ashton Kutcher becomes less objectionable if he just points his face away from the camera, and without the text it could pass for a Van Heusen shirt ad. I’ll probably never see the movie, but I appreciate the difference between two-bit fantasy-flogging and actual advertising.

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