We’ve suffered through the star-studded indignity of Valentine’s Day and the multi-storyline ignominy of New Year’s Eve and the alien attack of Independence Day (but that’s a whole different ball of gooey alien gut wax.) Now we have the latest scourge in this Hollywood holiday spree: Memorial Day: The Movie. Like all wonderful movies (that I am making up for fun on a Friday afternoon) it stars Katherine Heigl and a slew of other well wishing celebrities who are looking to cash a big fat paycheck.
Heigl stars as Chelsea, a New York City magazine journalist who is only concerned about her career. At the last minute, before getting on the Jitney to head out to the Hamptons, her editor (Christine Baranski) tells her that she needs a story about a Fleet Week romance and that she is going to have to bring it home or else she is fired. Katherine cancels her plans and her four friends roll their eyes and head off without her. She heads down to Midtown where absolutely every sailor totally ignores her. Finally she runs into a dashing sergeant (Patrick Dempsey) who steals the last seat at a crowded bar, making a flustered Chelsea absolutely furious. She cusses him out and he says that he’s going to help her find a romance to pay her back. She thanks him and they head out into the town. After going to several bars they can only find guys hooking up. They go to a Broadway show and approach a sailor (Jack Black) and his woman (Jennifer Coolidge) and find out she’s sick of him being trapped on a submarine all the time and is going to ask for a divorce. Finally they get a tip from a loud cabbie (Gilbert Godfried) who tells them to go to Chez Josefine to look for a romance. The restaurant is empty, but the owner (Gerard Depardieu) has a table just for them. They clink champagne glasses and stare deeply into each other’s eyes. Finally they head off to the USS Intrepid and scale the boat just as the fire works (that don’t really happen in New York on Memorial Day, but whatever) are going off and they kiss. It turns out, the story of Fleet Week romance Katherine Heigl was looking for was hers!
Let’s not forget about her four friends (Amy Adams, Keira Knightley, Isla Fisher, and Lea Michelle)! They’re all excited about their first weekend in the Hamptons and the rich men they’re going to meet at a fancy barbecue the next day. However on the Long Island Expressway, their bus breaks down and sets on fire, destroying all their luggage. But, good fortune! A minivan full of attractive men (Neil Patrick Harris, Matt Bomer, Jim Parsons, and Anderson Cooper) has four extra seats for four pretty ladies. They get their flirt on something hard before realizing that all the men in the car are gay. There is some making out between the men and the girls get to their house. They realize that it is locked and head out back to try to break into the house they’re renting. They make a mess in the mud trying to get in, and then are caught by the cops (Joe Mangianello and Nicolas Coster-Waldau). They drag them into jail where they share a cell with four guys (Chase Crawford, Ed Westwick, Penn Badgley, and some other guy from Gossip Girl.) They share a chuckle and when they’re all bailed out in the morning the boys drag them to their BBQ. Turns out they were the rich guys throwing the party in the first place, and they are all now hedge fund wives (still covered in mud).
Jerry (Zac Efron) is having a BBQ in Central Park and it is so hot he is forced to take off his shirt multiple times. There’s something about a girl (Taylor Swift) who lost her dog and he leaves his friends at the party to go help her. The whole time he keeps ignoring phone calls from his sister. They fall in love. They find the dog. Zac puts his shirt on and finally answers his sister’s call and it’s Katherine Heigl! She’s in love too!
In the park near Jerry’s BBQ, a hot dog vendor (Ben Stiller) is going to be evicted from his house unless he raises $10,000 by Monday. How is he going to sell that many hot dogs? His son (the funny kid from Modern Family… no, the skinny one) gets his friends (Jaden Smith and the other funny kid from Modern Family) and tells them they have to raise all this money. They decide to hold a hot dog eating contest and charge people $5 to watch. They are so adorable that the local news covers it (Chelsea, you are totally missing this story) and they raise all the money and everyone is happy.
Julia Roberts is spending another weekend at her shore house. She Julia Roberts with Julia Roberts and calls her friends Julia and Roberts. They smile. They laugh. They love life. It’s Julia Roberts. Who cares what she does. Tom Hanks shows up at the end and they kiss. The end.
Jessica Biel is a world champion croquet player who broke her arm the day before the huge croquet world series in Queens. Instead she’s bumming around a hotel in Midtown and feeling sorry for herself. Ashton Kutcher plays the bellhop who is just about to get off duty who says he’ll show her the best day of her life. He takes her to the Central Park Zoo, he takes her to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, he takes her to Shake Shack (mmmm, Shake Shack) and then he tries to kiss her and she’s like, “Sorry, I have a boyfriend.” He is all bummed. Then, the next day her boyfriend (Casey Affleck, who could use some work) is all like, “I only liked you because you were as good at croquet as I was. Now I’m dumping you, you sticky wicket.” She’s sad, but Ashton cheers her up again. This time, with tongue.
Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan