Monday, February 14, 2011

RomCom Roulette!

Anyone who knows me knows I have a soft spot for romantic movies, particularly romantic comedies. I’ll also fully admit it’s one of the most terrible genres in modern film – it plays on antiquated gender roles, is typically heterosexist, promotes unrealistic expectations of romantic partners, etc. But, I’m still a sucker for them, and since it’s Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d offer a bit of advice if you’re looking for a romantic comedy this year. It’s a Monday, not exactly the best night to go out – so instead, if you’re looking for something to watch in for the night, here are some very, very quick reviews of several romcoms (one at the theatre, the rest on NetFlix!).

No Strings Attached (in case you’re feeling like getting out) – Despite the terrible trailers for this film, it was actually really cute. Portman and Kutcher had great chemistry, and it’s written and directed by Ivan Reitman, so it’s pretty witty and well constructed, especially for a big budget romcom.

Love & Other Disasters – Tons of fun! Plays with the romcom genre affectionately and delivers strong performances from Matthew Rhys and (though I thought I’d never say it) Brittany Murphy.

When In Rome – When will Hollywood realize that Kristen Bell is a capable actress that needs more intricate roles? This film doesn’t totally suck, but there’s nothing special about it. Magic and Italy – an easy one to pick as background filler if you’d rather be doing other things.

Nights In Rodanthe – Has Nicholas Sparks ever written a book where someone doesn’t die? The editing in this film is so bad, even strong performances by the leads can’t save it.

Weather Girl – Super fun indie film. The protagonist isn’t likable at all as it begins, but she grows throughout the film, which is refreshing. The comic timing between Ryan Devlin and Patrick J. Adams is solid, and Mark Harmon is a great sleezeball character.

The Timer – A deep, intellectual piece that questions how and why we fall in love. If we could scientifically “prove” someone is our soulmate, would our experiences with others matter?

2 Days in Paris – Julie Delpy is one weird woman, but I kind of dig it. Her turns in Before Sunrise and Before Sunset are some of my favorite romcom moments. This film is hindered by Adam Goldberg though, and Delpy’s character is only barely likable. The film is more of a treatise on how people consistently settle for relationships that are less than they deserve because they are tired of reinventing themselves.

Did You Hear About the Morgans? – Oh Hugh Grant. What happened to you? And Mary Steenburgen, what happened to your career!? This film is god awful.

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