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Romantic Comedies

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Hmm. Interesting. Emma Stone is also a natural blonde but she looks better with the red hair.

Margot Robbie also looks so much better a a blond than a brunette.

Edited by methodwriter85
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9 hours ago, dusang said:

Oh, speaking of teen movie/rom coms did anyone see The Duff?  I have trouble with characters embarrassing themselves on screen, so it was very difficult for me to sit through but Robbie Amell is 1000x kinds of adorable in it and he and Mae Whitman had impressive chemistry -- it might go down as the only teen movie and/or romantic comedy where the final kiss really looked liked they were going to drop out of frame and go at it on the floor.

I can't watch that movie on principle, because Amell does not look teenage at all.

Edited by Trini

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1 hour ago, Trini said:

I can't watch that movie on principle, because Amell does not pass look teenage at all.

Fair enough. That just made me feel less gross about ... admiring his talents.

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Heh. This was my contribution to a blog called Actual Teens vs. Adult Teens, where someone compares actors when they were actual teenagers, to when they were twentysomethings (or older) playing teenagers.

Robbie Amell in The Duff, Vs. 18-Year Old Robbie in Life With Derek

Dude is a hot man, but that's the point...he's a man and very clearly not a teenager anymore. His face still has a boyish zeal to it, but not actual boyish looks.

In contrast, Mae really did pull off the teen thing. I do think the Duff was probably her good-bye to teen roles, like Say Anything was for John Cusack.

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Big turned me off of all of the "going to bed young and waking up as an adult"/"Switching places" because of it's love scene.  I was so turned off by that, I didn't want to deal with another movie like it in which that might happen.  But, yesterday, I decided to give 13 Going on 30 a shot because I really like the actors/actresses in it.  I was pleasantly surprised, thank God.  Since it was a given that they would end up together, it was nice that it wasn't him leaving his fiance for her, which I expected, but instead from a do-over that she got because she was able to learn some hard lessons about growing up and what kind of person she wanted to become. 

I'll say it again:  I really miss good romantic comedies.  I know they're still out there, but there just aren't as many, so I'll have to pay closer attention when I watch trailers.

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Are there any good recent romantic comedies? I can't find any in the last year or two that I like. Yes, I really liked the Duff but I consider that more of a teen comedy movie than a "While You Were Sleeping" or "When Harry Met Sally." I feel like I get my fix from Hallmark movies but I really wish that there were more than a handful that come out every year. I do want to check out the Bridget Jones when it's out on DVD but the trailers were so terrible that it turned many viewers off. 

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I keep track of this stuff, so I'll go ahead and share my favourites of the past 4 years:

2013:  Drinking Buddies

2014:  
Life Partners
Sex Tape
The Other Woman (Cameron Diaz..... I just flat out admit I like her in almost anything.)

2015:
Focus  (Kind of action, drama, romance, comedy all at once?)
Trainwreck
The Duff

2016:
How to be Single
Mother's Day
Bridget Jones' Baby

And there's also quite a few movies that have the same 'tone' as a romantic comedy, but are more accurately classified as comedies, like The Intern, Daddy's Home, The Heat, and Delivery Man.  I enjoyed all of these, personally.

If you're looking for one that is more reminiscent of those 90s Meg Ryan/Sandra Bullock films, then I don't know, because those are kind of a class on their own, really of their time.  I guess Trainwreck would be the closest.  

If I listened to reviews, then I'd never watch any movies like this.  I find it's easier to just listen to coworkers and friends.  I've actually only heard POSITIVE buzz about Bridget Jones' Baby, so I rushed to make sure I caught it before I left theatres, and I was happy I did.

I really liked Cafe Society (2016) this year, which is in my opinion, a pure romance, by Woody Allen.  I didn't much find it funny but I really enjoyed it.  I also loved Blue Jasmine (2013), which has some romance, but is very depressing.

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On 10/30/2016 at 1:38 PM, Ms Blue Jay said:

If you're looking for one that is more reminiscent of those 90s Meg Ryan/Sandra Bullock films, then I don't know, because those are kind of a class on their own, really of their time.

This is actually why I've stopped watching romantic comedies. I was always disappointed (by what were probably some pretty decent films) because I was looking for exactly that type. They were very much of their time. The women weren't necessarily enemies with other women, they might be lonely but not just because they weren't in a relationship or they actually had really strong relationships, they might be really pretty but weren't drop dead gorgeous and were allowed to dress normally without undergoing a transformation, no one was living in some great apartment in NY they couldn't possibly afford, etc. I also feel like the writing was sharper, creating more fully realized supporting characters. I also feel like they had these smaller funny moments that made their world seem real. (One of my favorites is from While You Were Sleeping, there's a brief scene of a kid delivering newspapers and he wipes out on the icy sidewalk when he throws a paper.)

The only romantic comedy I enjoyed from the past few years is Focus. I was surprised because it didn't do well with critics but I thought Margot Robbie has strong comedic timing and she and Smith had great chemistry.

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That could be idealizing the 90s a bit.  It's my favourite decade personally, but I don't know.  Did Meg Ryan movies even feature other women?  I don't remember many.  Rita Wilson, I guess.  Sandra Bullock sort of likes to feature a couple of other women, but make no mistake, the films are about her.  I'm a huge fan of Sandra's but I've always felt like her romcoms are incredibly disingenuous in that she always plays a lonely, loser woman who eats a lot - see All About Steve, Two Weeks Notice, Miss Congeniality - please, she's drop dead gorgeous and in fantastic shape.  It's an unrealistic fantasy in my opinion, and a bit insulting.  But don't get me wrong, she's starred in some of my favourite movies.

I loved Focus.  

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1 hour ago, Ms Blue Jay said:

That could be idealizing the 90s a bit.  It's my favourite decade personally, but I don't know.  Did Meg Ryan movies even feature other women?  I don't remember many.  Rita Wilson, I guess.  Sandra Bullock sort of likes to feature a couple of other women, but make no mistake, the films are about her.  I'm a huge fan of Sandra's but I've always felt like her romcoms are incredibly disingenuous in that she always plays a lonely, loser woman who eats a lot - see All About Steve, Two Weeks Notice, Miss Congeniality - please, she's drop dead gorgeous and in fantastic shape.  It's an unrealistic fantasy in my opinion, and a bit insulting.  But don't get me wrong, she's starred in some of my favourite movies. 

LOL yeah probably. I've being feeling the 90s nostalgia a bit this year. It's certainly true that 90s romcoms didn't feature a lot of women in any one romcom. But I do appreciate that there wasn't any pointless rivalry, like women just can't be friends or something. Meg Ryan and Rosie O'Donnell's characters had a really nice, normal friendship in Sleepless in Seattle. I think her character got worked up and tried to claim another woman looked like "a ho" but then she realized how ridiculous she sounded. Pretty much all of the women in While You Were Sleeping and You've Got Mail got along with each other and were supportive. Though that trend doesn't hold when you take into account Julia Robert's 90s romcoms which often pit women against each other. So yeah, lol, I'm idealizing them. 

Most of Sandra's 90s movies had her in normal clothes, you know, and didn't treat that as meaning she was dumpy. Though fashion trends in general had a lot to do with that. Romcoms from 2000 on kind of had her as the 'ugly-duckling' that was transformed into the beauty, which is absurd because like you said, she looks great. I think she's stopped aging.

2 hours ago, Ms Blue Jay said:

I loved Focus.  

I caught it on OnDemand a few weeks ago and gave it a shot because I'd just watched Robbie in Z for Zachariah and was impressed with her. And I was not disappointed. Her character was hilarious and Robbie's timing was perfect. She and Will Smith had a great flow to their banter and excellent chemistry. It was also the most I've liked Will Smith in a long time. That kind of smooth character really suits his charm but he handled the heavier emotional parts just as well. I'm not sure what critics had against it. I'd comment on the thieves' plots but honestly I don't even pay attention to that stuff; I figure with all the double-crossing it won't matter anyway. 

I'm thinking about giving Trainwreck and Bridget Jone's Baby a try. I haven't seen the first one since it came out and I don't think I ever watched the second though. Are they required viewing or can you just jump right in?

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You can jump in.

Bridget Jones the first is a classic.  Wonderful, wonderful movie.  BJ2 is horrible.  No need to watch that.

Critics are biased based on genre.  Something I really hate about contemporary film criticism.  Romcoms aren't appreciated unless they're written by Woody Allen or Jennifer Lawrence stars in them. Gotta be really white.  I'll talk more about this when I'm not so tired.

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19 minutes ago, Ms Blue Jay said:

Bridget Jones the first is a classic.  Wonderful, wonderful movie.  BJ2 is horrible.  No need to watch that.

Yeah. This. But as for Bridget Jones's Baby, as one who was wondering why this third movie needed to be made, much of what I've read was it was much closer in tone to film #1 than film #2. As for whether you can just jump in with movie number 3, I'd recommend watching the original film just for the sake of character context. But I'm guessing you can skip the forgettable Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason and just watch the last one. (I have not seen the final movie and have been trying to decide whether to buy the Blu-Ray coming in December or not...)

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3 hours ago, Ms Blue Jay said:

Yes, I agree.  And Wendy, I think go ahead and buy that Blu Ray :)  It was a cute movie.  

Well, thanks for the recommendation! Looks like I'll take the chance.  :-) (I own the first movie!)

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Bridget Jones' Baby seemed like it was stuck in the past but like those older rom-coms it's probably going to be something I watch on TV or on Netflix.

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I saw the original Bridget Jones - I'm pretty sure in the theater, even -and have little memory of it good or bad.  I don't think I even realized there was a second one, and I'll probably watch the third when it comes on TV because of some good reviews, but the whole "I'm well aware how safe sex works yet have no idea who knocked me up" premise isn't really my thing.

This thread reinforces the fact I'm really not a romantic comedy person, with the notable exception of screwball comedies of the '30s and '40s.

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On 10/30/2016 at 1:38 PM, Ms Blue Jay said:

I keep track of this stuff, so I'll go ahead and share my favourites of the past 4 years:

2013:  Drinking Buddies

2014:  
Life Partners
Sex Tape
The Other Woman (Cameron Diaz..... I just flat out admit I like her in almost anything.)

2015:
Focus  (Kind of action, drama, romance, comedy all at once?)
Trainwreck
The Duff

2016:
How to be Single
Mother's Day
Bridget Jones' Baby
 

 

I caught How to be Single on HBO the other day and was really surprised by how much I liked it. I thought it was so funny and charming and it made me wish Dakota Johnson wasn't stuck doing the 50 Shades of Grey movies. 

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I'm kind of interested in Table 19 and Operator though I don't know if they'll check the "comedy" box of romantic comedy. I still need to check out all those Zoe Kazan movies... Ruby Sparks, The Pretty One, The F word, etc. Especially The Pretty One. 

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I'm not sure if it counts as a rom-com but it's comedic and has to do with romantic relationships. Also, the guy from Practical Magic is in it so that counts for something, right? I've had "If I Were You" in my Netflix queue for a while. It stars Marcia Gay Harden. It's exactly what I was expecting. It looks a little low budget/indie. It's filmed in more of an indie/foreign movie kind of a way. But I could easily see how they could cast better, more attractive actors and have more glamorous costumes and wacky underscoring and make it a rom-com. I can't say it's good or recommend it but I got what I wanted. The script isn't too bad if you buy into the conceit. There are some good lines in there. And MGH is great and I laughed a couple times. The bad actors were particularly funny (they're auditioning for a play in the middle of the movie). And MGH gets a lot of great snarky lines in.

I haven't seen it, but I'd guess it's more like The Other Woman than boy meets girl. But if you have Netflix, maybe give it a shot.

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I decided to watch Slow Learners. It's certainly not good. It's definitely worse than If I Were You. It's more of a rom-com but I feel like there are only pieces of a real movie in there and it doesn't work as a whole. I also feel like whoever made it hired a lot of their friends because there are vaguely recognizable comedians/lower tier actors in it. But I liked parts of it. It made me think though, that a lot of what makes a good rom-com work is earnestness. You have to try in spite how silly the material might be to sell it. I don't think there was a lot of effort in this movie. In fact, I think the things I laughed at might have been improved. I certainly didn't feel anything for the characters or find it at all believable. The whole thing was weird contrived conflicts.

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I watched The Decoy Bride. Now, this is a rom-com. Great cast (David Tennant, Kelly Macdonald, Michael Urie). Glamour and tropes/cliche and silliness and sweetness. I laughed a lot. I don't think they had quite enough time to set up a romance since one half of the couple was supposed to marry someone else and that person wasn't horrible but I enjoyed myself all the same. I have no idea why this was poorly received. It wasn't a grand romance. He wasn't really happy in his relationship. She was attracted to him from the start. And they spent a good deal of time apart and to me, it was more of a "let's give this a shot" ending than a "let's get married and live HEA" ending. I was very charmed and it's a short movie. I would recommend it. 

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I hate that La La Land is being sold as a romantic comedy. It's not. Take the ending out of it. It's about two self-absorbed characters who barely have more charm than what the actors imbue them with, their romantic arc isn't that well written, and the entire project struck me as so cynical about both relationships and movie making in general. 

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On 11/2/2016 at 8:25 PM, Ms Blue Jay said:

That could be idealizing the 90s a bit.  It's my favourite decade personally, but I don't know.  Did Meg Ryan movies even feature other women?  I don't remember many.  Rita Wilson, I guess. 

This was technically 1989, but she had at least two female friends in When Harry Met Sally. (One of them played by Carrie Fisher--RIP!).

Speaking of which, I've always found it a bit strange that Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson played brother and sister in Sleepless in Seattle AFTER they were already married. It's one thing when two people meet and start dating while playing brother and sister, but to actually play them after you've already married in real life (and it's NOT a satire where's that a deliberate joke)? It's a bit jarring to me.

I mean, they're actors, and they made it work, I just think it's a tiny bit weird. 

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A local television station is playing The Way We Were this Saturday night.  Way to kick off Valentine's Day, huh?  (And yes, I know, romantic, but not a comedy).

I have Drinking Buddies and Results checked out of the library to watch instead because I saw them both on a list of unsung romantic comedies somewhere.  Slate, maybe?

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I think I'd just drink myself into unconsciousness before watching a mumblecore rom-com with Olivia Munn as the female lead for Valentine's Day, but if it floats your boat have fun.

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Not to pick nits, but I thought Victor Garber and Tom Hanks were supposed to be brothers in Sleepless in Seattle, and Rita Wilson played Tom's sister in law. Non?

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39 minutes ago, cpcathy said:

Not to pick nits, but I thought Victor Garber and Tom Hanks were supposed to be brothers in Sleepless in Seattle, and Rita Wilson played Tom's sister in law. Non?

I've seen this movie dozens of times (although, I haven't seen it all the way through in a long time) and I always thought they were all just close friends.

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43 minutes ago, cpcathy said:

Not to pick nits, but I thought Victor Garber and Tom Hanks were supposed to be brothers in Sleepless in Seattle, and Rita Wilson played Tom's sister in law. Non?

I've seen a few different sources now, but a few of them still list her as playing his sister (and I read long ago in something about the movie that that was who she played). I could be wrong, though. 

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On 2/8/2017 at 10:39 AM, Qoass said:

I have Drinking Buddies 

I think I typed upthread that I really loved it so yes please tell me what you think afterwards.

I rewatched Groundhog Day on Groundhog Day weekend as a local theatre decided to reshow it on the big screen.  The ending is one of my favourite romantic moments of all time.  I realized that that particular scene is probably the closest representation to my idea of romance, on film.

I rewatched A View from the Top (Gwyneth Paltrow and Mark Ruffalo) and Just Like Heaven (Reese Witherspoon and Mark Ruffalo) recently.  Both REALLY cute movies that I definitely recommend.

Now, don't hurt me, but when I first saw Life or Something Like It (Angelina Jolie) I thought it was pretty bad because, well, Angie is just so, so, so bad at this type of romcom acting, but god, this movie kind of grew on me.  Something about Trump being President and the movie's theme of the world coming to an end made me crave it again.

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On 8/21/2015 at 9:51 AM, deaja said:

 

You're right.  That is superior to Music & Lyrics. I can't believe I forgot about that one! 

 

My top 5 modern day romantic comedies are probably:

1) Sweet Home Alabama

2) You've Got Mail

3) Hitch

4) 27 Dresses

5) Return to Me

Hitch is great.

Mine:  

1.  Clueless
2.  Two Weeks Notice
3.  Mean Girls (if it counts?)
4.  My Best Friend's Wedding
5.  Picture Perfect (1997)
6.  Bridesmaids
7.  Fever Pitch (2005)

I have to plug Out of Sight (1998) here.  One of my favourite movies.  Romantic yes. Not comedic.  I also saw Jerry Maguire written here but I never considered it a comedy. For non-comedy romances I also like Edward Scissorhands

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Quote

I have Drinking Buddies 

I think I typed upthread that I really loved it so yes please tell me what you think afterwards.

Sorry, but I really hated it.  But Olivia Wilde is very pretty...

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Table 19:

It got savaged by the critics and it's more of a quirky indie ensemble romantic dramedy than a straight-up romcom, but I dug it. It really is a shame that romcoms aren't being done that much anymore because Anna Kendrick really does strike me as someone that would do well with them.

I also really liked the twist that

Spoiler

the cute guy her character kept flirting with and her would-be rebound turned out to be the groom of the other wedding who decided to crash this wedding for...kicks? It didn't make that much sense but I always appreciate a good subversion of expectations. I did think the movie did a pretty good job of suggesting that neither Anna Kendrick or Wyatt Russell's characters were really over each other so the ending didn't feel off.

Also, because of the movie, I've currently got "All Through the Night" by Cyndi Lauper stuck in my head.

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I liked Table 19 as well. I laughed quite a bit and was entertained. I agree it has a quirkier, indie vibe as opposed to straight up rom-com, but it worked for me. My teenage kiddos saw it with me & they both enjoyed it although they noticed it was a little bit different than a typical rom-com as well. Their biggest complaint was that the main guy (the bride's brother) had hair that looked perpetually greasy. When it kept falling in his face I kept thinking about that oil getting on his skin. I'm weird. I really enjoyed the group dynamic of the people at Table 19. Their interaction was the heart of the movie in my opinion. 

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Yeah, that's why I can't really consider it a straight-up romantic comedy because the romance isn't really the heart of the movie- it's about a group of people with nothing in common except their seating chart who come together as a group. I loved that it showed those quick, ephemeral friendships you can develop with people you meet at some common event. I think it's easier to open up to people that you know you're never really going to see again.

I think the point of Wyatt Russell's character was that he was kind of a slacker. He was the slacker guy from an affluent family who got overshadowed by his Golden Girl sister. His long hair, unkempt hair was short-hand for this, I think.

I do think right now that Wyatt's typecast- playing the hippie-looking kind of guy. He grew his hair out circa 22 Jump Street and it seems like the hair is kind of his gimmick now. It does separate him from all the other young actors right now with immaculate buzzcuts and undercuts.

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On 10/30/2016 at 0:05 AM, twoods said:

Are there any good recent romantic comedies? I can't find any in the last year or two that I like. Yes, I really liked the Duff but I consider that more of a teen comedy movie than a "While You Were Sleeping" or "When Harry Met Sally." I feel like I get my fix from Hallmark movies but I really wish that there were more than a handful that come out every year. I do want to check out the Bridget Jones when it's out on DVD but the trailers were so terrible that it turned many viewers off. 

I didn't mind Sleeping With Other People as much as critics did, although I felt like it suffered from not knowing when to end.  But I think Alison Brie and Jason Sudekis had good chemistry and they did manage to get some good yearning in there.

But I think my problem with romcoms these days is that they're trying to be edgy or in the vein of Something About Mary gross out humor rather than a mix of wit and romance.   I like sex and sexiness in my movies which is why Hallmark sweetness, while pleasant, rarely gets to me in a way that I want to watch the movies over and over again.  And I can do gross out humor.  And I don't even mind awful people being awful before they decide to not be awful. 

But I feel like that is all we get these days when people try romcom....like there is this need to subvert the genre instead of just offering up a worthy addition to it.  Part of me wonders if Mindy Kaling could write a good romantic comedy based on some of the stuff she wrote early in the Mindy Project.  But then some of the later stuff....I feel she would go into the subversion territory as well.

I loved The Duff.  I didn't care whether or not he looked too old.  I will forgive a lot for genuine laughter (check), full blown chemistry (check) and a story that makes me really root for them (check.)

On 11/2/2016 at 7:25 PM, Ms Blue Jay said:

Did Meg Ryan movies even feature other women?

I can't think of all the romantic comedies she has done.  Innerspace didn't feature another woman but her Nora Ephron movies certainly did since one of the main features of all three movies was separate lives.  Meg had her work peeps in You've Got Mail and Rosie O'Donnell in Sleepless in Seattle. She had a little more interaction with Tom Hanks in You've Got Mail but both of those movies largely had their interaction as correspondence.  She also had her group of girlfriends in When Harry Met Sally.

On 11/3/2016 at 1:52 AM, WendyCR72 said:

But as for Bridget Jones's Baby, as one who was wondering why this third movie needed to be made, much of what I've read was it was much closer in tone to film #1 than film #2.

It was.  It probably didn't need to be made but I'm glad it did get made because I think it comes closest to walking that line between sexy, romantic and funny without feeling the need to declare its edge.

On 11/16/2016 at 7:29 PM, aradia22 said:

This one looks real bad but I still want to watch it. It's called Accidentally Engaged and I don't think even ABC family would show it.

That ad cracks me up.  There is something about the sound of a film, more than anything for me, that will declare itself as being made cheaply.  You can find a lot of these movies on Netflix and sometimes if I'm in need of a romcom fix, I'll give them a try.  That's how I saw One Small Hitch.  I didn't hate it. 

On 2/8/2017 at 5:32 PM, Shannon L. said:

I've seen this movie dozens of times (although, I haven't seen it all the way through in a long time) and I always thought they were all just close friends.

Ditto.

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@Irlandesa yes -- you're right.  I love Rosie in anything, and the dearly departed Carrie Fisher played Sally's BFF in When Harry Met Sally.  

Maybe I'll watch Sleeping with Other People.  But Alison Brie's 'charm' seems to have zero effect on me.  I always forget that she was in "How to be Single", a romcom I did enjoy last year.  By the way, she's engaged (or married?) to James Franco's younger brother, Dave.  I think that's pretty cute.

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1 minute ago, Ms Blue Jay said:

Maybe I'll watch Sleeping with Other People.  But Alison Brie's 'charm' seems to have zero effect on me.  I always forget that she was in "How to be Single", a romcom I did enjoy last year.  By the way, she's engaged (or married?) to James Franco's younger brother, Dave.  I think that's pretty cute.

See, I do love Alison Brie so that definitely helped.  And Adam Scott, although he played a jerk in the movie.  Sudekis is a performer who I loved on SNL but who I run hot and cold with when he's in "roles" but I think he worked here.   But for us romcom starved, it does fit the romcom criteria and enough worked that it was worth it.  But not enough where I'd rewatch.

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I love Adam Scott in everything.  That man is so diverse!  I don't know if any of you are fans of "Monster-in-Law", a J.Lo and Jane Fonda romantic comedy from 2005, you won't believe all of the celebrities that pass through it!  Adam Scott plays J.Lo's gay BFF, Will Arnett is in it randomly, and Wanda Sykes is Jane Fonda's personal assistant.  Oh my god, when I finally saw it for the first time it was such a hoot.  

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Right now my go-to "I'll borrow these at the library on a regular basis" are Austenland and Two Night Stand. Austenland is basically my fantasy of falling in love with a Regency type of guy, while Two Night Stand is my fantasy of being a hip city person who falls in love in a hip city way. Both are pretty re-watchable in my opinion. Two Night Stand has a pretty good balance of being edgy without being in-your-face about it, and the two did have great chemistry.

And JJ Field made a GREAT Darcy.

I love Austen movies although I'm kind of glad the Lost in Austen American adaption seems to be dead. The British mini-series stands well enough on its own.

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Oh, I loved Lost in Austen. I don't think it totally lived up to its potential as a story, but in the moment I was hooked and I think Elliot Cowan made a great Darcy.

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I didn't feel like investing in anything heavy... documentaries, Sunset Boulevard, TV shows I'd want to binge watch, etc. so as I tend to... I gravitated towards the rom-coms and put on One Small Hitch. It immediately felt like an older movie. It looked like The Princess Diaries on a cheaper budget and The Princess Diaries already felt a little dated when it came out so I'd say this is maybe a 90's movie. 

The set up with the guy was classic... and not the most sympathetic... but not the worst. Not wanting to commit puts him way above the level of sociopath in some 80's and late 00's rom-coms. The girl was set up in a bridesmaid dress that looked... perfectly fine. They didn't even bother to really frump her up. Speaking of TPD, there were times when I could close my eyes and imagine I was hearing Anne Hathaway. And also the guy seemed a little... normal looking to be such a ladies man. Not that it can't happen, just that they tend to cast someone like Chris Evans or Ryan Reynolds in this kind of role. 

It did amuse me that Lance did a jerky version horn honking that was supposed to be so charming with Ryan Gosling in La La Land. 

The script was stood out as kind of weak. Like bad indie movie weak. Hollywood rom coms have their issues but usually someone comes in to punch up the script even if it's tropey as all get out. 

But somewhere around the revelation about Lance I started to get into it. The phone call revelation that really kicked the plot into gear was a big tonal shift but eh, you do what you need to do to make it work in rom coms. He was immediately VERY manipulative about it though. But then there were wacky relatives and nonsense and I was back in.

I think this is one of the few rom-coms that doesn't mention the characters' jobs early on. 

Spoiler

How were they both able to stay for an extra month?

She was a little self-centered through the movie but again, compared to other rom-coms, it barely registered.

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The jump into the almost kiss had very little build up. Same for her in the bathroom. I feel I liked both of them and I got a friendship there but they weren't really building up the romance.

One thing I liked was in spite of the stereotypes, they often went for the sweet or silly joke. For instance, with the razor, in most modern movies, I think that would have ended very badly in some kind of gross out/cringe way. 

I didn't like how long it took Josh to figure things out. And I mean, even if things are casual, if you've just slept with someone the night before, how do you go right into flirting with someone else right in front of them? That kind of thing was pretty callous.

All in all, the actors were pretty charming and the contrived shenanigans to get them even deeper into the lie made me laugh even if I can't really call the movie "good." I also enjoyed them hitting all the tropes... unnecessary shopping montage? Sure, why not? The pacing could have been better but I got what I wanted out of it.

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I'd recorded How To Be Single from HBO and I was finally in the mood to watch it. First of, the movie gets major points for featuring people I like. That's kind of a cheat, but whatever, that's what rom-coms are about... casting actors based on their perceived personalities and likability. I like Alison Brie and Anders Holm so their storyline was already working for me. And I can tolerate Rebel Wilson (I watched all of Super Fun Night) and Dakota Johnson was fine as bland protagonist.

One thing I was weirdly conscious of from the beginning was... oh, they put in all this music in post. I know a lot of movies do that, unless they're musicals or something. But I can't remember the last time I was so conscious that the music I was hearing was not being played when they shot the scene. It was weird. Also, so many establishing shots of NY. Beautiful, clean ones. And giant apartments. 

I liked the bit with the bar peanuts. That's how I think about the numbers game of online dating.

It was very silly but I thought the party-to-work sequence that was shot like a heist movie was fun, if ridiculous. Leslie Mann was also very good with the baby.

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It was a very odd scene to communicate that point, especially since if she's delivered 3000 babies, she would have been around them before but whatever, sure, she needed to be around this very cute one to just decide she needs to procreate. 

Tom was a decent take on the 'playboy who puts way too much effort into staying unattached.' The Lucy/Tom thing reminded me A LOT of He's Just Not That Into You but better. 

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I liked the one person wants to try something and then it turns out the other person is the one who benefits scenario they had going. She wanted to break up and he was the one who was happy with it and found someone else. I do think she leapt really quickly from that official breakup into desperation and self-pity.

I liked that with the Alice character it wasn't just about the guy but about not really knowing how to live on her own. It was nice that she eventually started going out and doing all the things she'd wanted to do.

I immediately spied Damon Wayans Jr. the moment he appeared on screen and thought... oh, he's definitely going to be a part of this movie. The banter they wrote for that was really great.

I loved that Colin Jost was Paul the possible peanut.

Jake Lacy was really adorable as Ken. Another character with Perfect Boyfriend Syndrome but adorable nonetheless. 

Jason Mantzoukas was just fire... in a cardigan.

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It bothered me that Leslie Mann's character kept talking about her age and not bringing up the fact that she was pregnant.

I liked that Alice lampshaded the 'following a stranger to an abandoned building' thing.

From the timeline with Alice meeting her ex in school, she has to be in her early to mid 20's. I was surprised she got involved with David and met his daughter. I don't know if most people in their early 20's, and especially ones who haven't dated much and are looking to find themselves, get into relationships with single fathers.

I get the zipper thing as a symbol of the difficulties of singledom (occasionally I think about things like falling off of chairs or ladders and not having anyone around to know) but I also don't get how you buy an outfit or put on an outfit that you then can't unzip later. If I can't get the zipper down then I can't reach to get it up in the first place. And I'm certainly not buying it if I can't get it on and off by myself. 

The drink number thing was real stupid and unnecessary.

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I knew the Lucy was faking out Tom when she was pretending to go along with his confession of love and that made it even better. I love when rom-coms play with the tropes in a small way instead of just stomping on love in general. 

I didn't think she'd end up with Josh again because that wouldn't really be great for her character arc but I did NOT see him being engaged. That one got me. Good job, movie. 

For the most part, I think they managed to make a movie that was a little smarter than the typical churned out mainstream rom-com these days. The part that really felt cheesy was 

Spoiler

the sudden fight between Alice and Robin. It was like the suddenly needed conflict and it came way too late given that none of that had been brewing. Dakota mocking Rebel was amazing. Also, it was a weird fight because since David, Alice seemed to be in a really good place. 

There are funny rom-coms and sweet rom-coms. I think this one was just pleasant. Because the Alice character was supposed to be the protagonist it was more about self-discovery and less about jokes or romance. I probably won't watch it again but it was nice. I liked everyone involved... it was funny at times. It just didn't have the impact of one of those romances where you're really rooting for a couple. But it was pretty enjoyable. I could tell it was based on a book... or at least a thinkpiece. It was something I didn't have to get too invested in but there were some nice moments and it was pretty to look at.

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11 hours ago, aradia22 said:

That's kind of a cheat, but whatever, that's what rom-coms are about... casting actors based on their perceived personalities and likability.

That's what drove me to watch Man Up on Netflix last night.  It starred Simon Pegg and Lake Bell with a British accent (which I never quite adjusted to hearing.) It also had appearances from TV faves like Sharon Hogan (Catastrophe) and Phoebe  Waller-Bridge (Fleabag).  It apparently got decent reviews even though I hadn't heard much about it but since I liked people in it, I opted to watch.  It's a decent set up for a romcom in that a woman (Lake Bell) accidentally ends up on the blind date (Pegg) meant for her train companion when her companion leaves her a self-help book in an effort to "help" her.

Of course they get along great. It did remind me of something that I find cringe worthy in romcoms and that is...

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the public declaration of affection.  It ends with him using a party with a bunch of teenagers to find her and crashing her parents' anniversary party to tell her that he likes her...with TONS of people around.

Overall, it was decent. And short.  And pretty predictable.  And some choices that made me scratch my head. 

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For instance, once she was discovered by her childhood friend at the bowling alley, instead of agreeing to his creepy terms, I don't understand why she didn't just convince her date to move on. 

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Thanks for the recommendation, @Irlandesa.  I checked out Man Up and enjoyed it too although I totally agree about the bowling alley issue.

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