Sunday, February 7, 2010

Bad Romantic Comedies, not much worse

I've been re-reading some of my oldest posts to see if what I suspected was true: I like most movies. What I found out was that I usually just don't review movies I really dislike. They don't make enough of an impact if they're less than 2 stars or so. Also, I don't tend to go to movies that don't interest me - most horror movies and almost all scary thrillers (I won't be seeing Shutter Island in the theater). So like most bloggers, my opinion of movies is not always based on their intrinsic or historical value to cinema, but whether or not I enjoyed them. Usually I wouldn't bother reviewing either of these movies, but since I saw them so close together, I'll go ahead and add them to my list at the low end of the scale. I'm sure no one will be surprised that these weren't particularly good movies, one was a romantic comedy release in January and the other is a straight to DVD romantic comedy. I guess it also proves I'm a sucker for my favorite actors and a romantic comedy.
Leap Year
stars Amy Adams and Matthew Goode. Amy plays a real estate stager (she arranges apartments to improve their sellability) dating a doctor who hasn't bothered to propose after several years. He goes to Ireland for a conference, and she meets up with her dad (a disappointingly underused John Lithgow) who reminds her how her grandparents got engaged: On February 29, there's an Irish tradition that allows women to propose to their boyfriends. This was the first place the movie went off the rails for me - what is stopping women from proposing any day they want if that's what it takes. It's not like men aren't allowed to say no on Leap Day any more than other day so the pressure is the same. So Adams goes running off to Dublin, but is diverted to Wales, and takes a boat across to Dingle in Ireland. Second place this movie lost me - Dingle is on the opposite side of Ireland from Wales. Dublin is close to Wales, so how the heck did she end up in Dingle? Then she tries to get someone to drive her to Dublin, which is crazy. There's a huge airport in Shannon that would have been an hour drive rather than driving across the country to Dublin. I've been to Ireland and driven myself across it - less than 6 hours. It takes them 3 days! Anyway, Matthew Goode owns what looks like the ONLY building in Dingle and is losing it to a money collector so he agrees to drive Adams in exchange for a lot of money. The rest of Leap Year follows the standard path of most romantic comedies. Their personalities clash, to humorous effect. They lose their transportation and are forced to stay in one room at a hotel and sexual tension increases to humorous effect. And finally, she has to decide between her previous boyfriend and the new guy who has changed her life in just a few days. It was a pleasant way to spend an afternoon, but unlikely I'll watch it again. Not worth the $10. 2 stars/5 stars.

An Accidental Husband is a direct to DVD movie with Uma Thurman, Colin Firth and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Thurman plays a radio love doctor who gives advice to Morgan's fiancee that convinces her to stop the wedding. To get back at Thurman, Morgan uses his tech savy friend to create a marriage license so when Thurman and her actual fiancee Firth go to get theirs, she finds out she's already married to Morgan (whom she's never met). Again, the standard fair of romantic comedies ensues. She ends up spending time with Morgan (a fireman from Astoria) trying to get the annulment papers signed and realizes he's a pretty great guy. Morgan meanwhile realizes his prank might have been a good idea as now he's married to a pretty great guy. Hijinks ensue and Firth gets to be the stand up guy (after all he's British) and lets Thurman out of their engagement. The one cliche that always bothers me in movies like these is the woman's hair. It's true in almost every romantic comedy of late - a tightly wound woman also ALWAYS wears her hair tied up, a bun or something that demonstrates visually how uptight she is. After the guy convinces her to relax and fall for the new guy suddenly she's wearing her hair down all the time. Now she's all flowy and relaxed, and so is her hair. Just an odd gimmick that I'm sick of watching. Note the change in the two leap year photos above. 2 stars/5 stars.

1 comment:

Castor said...

I have the same problem of not reviewing bad to mediocre movies. Every now and then, I make a point of picking a really horrible movie, sitting through it, and writing a review. Last week it was All about Steve, possibly one of the worst mainstream movie of all time...