Just last week, we pondered the question “Why is Warner Bros. trying to hide the fact that Kevin Smith directed Cop Out?” And now, after being barraged with a series of Valentine’s Day TV commercials over the weekend, we would like to ask another fairly simple question of the ad wizards in the Warner Bros. marketing department: Why you are burying the fact that America’s newly minted stud-muffin, Bradley Cooper, romances Eric “McSteamy” Dane in this movie and not Julia Roberts?
As anyone who has seen the trailer or any of the TV commercials will attest, those devious marketing folks at Warner Bros. highlight a number of photogenic couples romping through tried and true rom-com scenarios in their Valentine’s Day ads: Ashton Kutcher proposing to Jessica Alba, Taylor Swift making out with Taylor Lautner, Anne Hathaway smooching Topher Grace, Jamie Foxx making eyes at Jessica Biel, and even Shirley MacLaine batting her eyelids seductively at Hector Elizondo. Following this same logic, all the spots that we have seen feature Bradley Cooper chatting up Julia Roberts in an airplane, leading the audience to think that the two might fall for each other on St. Valentine’s Day.
However, it turns out that, in the film, Cooper only has eyes for Eric Dane; the whole Roberts angle that gets so much play in the trailers is just a red herring meant to distract audiences from this coupling of two extremely good-looking dudes. We’re not exactly sure why Warner Bros. would bury this in their promotional campaign, unless they were concerned that it might scare potential ticket-buyers into going to see something else at the theaters this weekend. One could float the theory that Cooper’s agents and management team insisted on keeping this plot element out of the marketing materials (and therefore not “harming” Cooper’s new reputation as a studly, macho, womanizing action star), but considering that this is at least the second time that Cooper has portrayed a gay man on film (the other being Wet Hot American Summer), it seems as if he’s comfortable with his sexuality and wouldn’t be the type to resort to this sort of deception.
So, we ask you, the loyal Vulture reader, what do you think? If they showed Cooper and Dane kissing or holding hands in the trailer, would it make you more or less likely to go see the film (which, BTW, we hear is tracking very well and will most likely take home the box-office crown this weekend)? You know where to sound off!