What If (2013)… “Look, one thing I like about getting married, is that you can stand up in front of everyone you care about and stay it for the record that you believe in the best case scenario.”

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My rating: 6

IMDB rating: 6.9

IMDB link: What If

Dearest reader,

While finding the image for this review, I think I finally realised what irritates me the most about this film… The fact that it claims to be “The best Rom-Com since 500 Days of Summer”. Not only will I not necessarily classify 500 Days of Summer as a romantic-comedy, this film is nothing like the seminal, heartfelt stroke of genius that is most often termed a romantic comedy-drama.

Now I am just ranting, apologies…

This film stars post-Potter Daniel Radcliffe and the quirky Zoe Kazan. Seemingly everyone’s best friend Adam Driver plays the supporting role and is of course the source of quite a few laughs.

The premise of the film is not something new… You meet someone, they are involved, you become friends while you wait it out… Still, as far as RomComs go nowadays this film definitely provides about an hour and a half of fun.

There are a few plot holes or maybe we should call it desperately grasping for action… For example when Chantry gets upset that Wallace respected her relationship and just remained her friend (not sure why she was mad, but she was!).

To me, there seems to be this trend among filmmakers nowadays to just feed the ending to the viewers. In other words, the much needed “open places” in a narrative are becoming fewer and fewer. This film could have ended with them meeting at the airport, but no! We have to physically show their wedding etc. just to be sure everyone got it. Are we reverting back to the melodrama, where everything is spelled out?

This movie is a good laugh, but definitely not for serious consideration.

Want to read more on What If? Try these…

Film Review – What If.

Movie Review – What if**.

Film Review: What If.

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They Came Together (2014)… “Why don’t you just take a jerk, you hike!”

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My rating: 6

IMDB rating: 5.5

IMDB link: They Came Together

Dearest reader,

The premise for this movie is quite seminal; let’s take everything wrong with the RomCom genre and movie industry in general, blow it up to larger-than-life proportions and show it to the average movie-goer hoping that they would recognise themselves… Was it successful? I am honestly not sure!

Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd, comedy heavyweights, star in this ridiculous romantic comedy that parodies everything we have come to love about the genre. It soon becomes clear that this movie has a very direct message: This is how ridiculous you would look trying to fashion your relationships around the fantasies of the RomCom.

The question for me is, are we not overestimating the general viewing public? Hollywood is very much built on the foundations of fantasy. The influx of RomComs, in especially the 1990’s to early 2000’s, is built around the idea that you can be a romantic hero. You can be the clumsy girl with awkward fashion sense and still find a prince. But are we ready to break through that idealism?

A friend of mind is currently doing a thesis on the changing state of the Disney princesses. Disney, is also very much built on the fairy tale/fantasy assertion. Looking at the princesses, we see that Disney is also venturing into creating the more liberated princess, breaking the usual “damsel-in-distress” mould. And let’s face it, Disney has for a long time not been for children only.

After considering this, it is maybe fair to say that this film is maybe exactly what the industry needed. We live in a (post-) postmodern world where everything has been done before and subsequently everything goes and therefore, I think, we need to embrace cultural explorations such as these.

(The poster is one of the most funniest things about this movie, be sure to check it out)

Want to read more on They Came Together? Try these…

They Came Together (David Wain, 2014) 1/4.

They Came Together: Wet Hot New York Romance.

They Came Together Review (15).

While you were sleeping (1995)

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My rating: 6

IMDB rating: 6.6

IMDB link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0114924/?ref_=ttmd_md_nm

Dearest reader,

Of course, I have to start with my mother’s favourite film. She watched this when she was happy, sad, yearning, overjoyed, bored and tired. She loved Peter’s bustling family, Sandra Bullock’s innocence, the obvious humour and of course the happy ending.

While you were sleeping is one of those typical RomComs that have all the ‘classic’ elements. Boy meets girl (in this case under some weird circumstances), they fall in love, they face a burden, they are separated and eventually get back together again and ride of into the sunset.

What makes this movie unique though:

  • The circumstances under which she meets the ‘right’ brother
  • Her very unique love of travel
  • Peter’s huge overcrowded family
  • Peter’s godfather in particular
  • The clever incorporation of religion
  • A very unique style of humour

I’ve grown up with this film and re-watching it, was such a treat! I love While you were sleeping and Miss Congeniality, because they are still those early, very original RomComs, but also because it shows the young, quirky Sandra Bullock that we fell in love with.