I’ve been watching a lot of rom coms lately, I guess because it’s sort of the midtier genre format I enjoy the most - you get some of the same pleasures of action movies or horror movies, like character actors, weird little touches, background haircuts and bad music very specific to their era, occasional baffling moments of studio interference etc, but they’re generally aimed at being amiable rather than intense so it’s a lot easier to just sort of vaguely tune in and out of what’s happening and examine for interesting details.
In this thread I will discuss any weird or funny rom coms I found notable watching recently and list them here for the curious.
Simply Irresistable (1999) - this is my favourite one so far because I guess it was meant to be magical realism but nobody told the cast or the production team or anyone else? so the impression is that it’s just a regular romantic comedy about Sarah Michelle Gellar except for some reason she is given a magical animatronic crab(!) by a character who disappears without explanation 15 minutes into the movie, and it gives her special cookery mind-control powers, like at the end of the film when she makes some kind of sad apple pie so when people at the restaurant… cut into their apples… they start emitting gas(?!) like a prop from the Joel Schumaker Batman movies, and everybody starts to cry because it’s so intense… at one point the love interest is sort of nervously trying to find out if she’s a witch which is a reasonable question. also, apparently the main role was meant for a woman in her forties but it was abruptly recast into a Sarah Michelle Gellar vehicle so she’s just this random 20-year-old who runs her own restaurant without apparently knowing how to cook for shit before she found the crab. A negative review I saw online asked why we would care about this character, who it described as “the talentless stooge of a crab”. In an interview with the director he claims the crab represents Einstein’s theory of relativity and wonders why nobody questions why the magical crab can stay out of water for so long. A really amazing and mesmerizing film.
Kate & Leopold (2001) - I watched this a few nights ago, it was OK, it had a bizarrely high budget which extended to doing a whole big matte-painting set of 19th-century New York! Hugh Jackman is a guy from the 19th century who gets pulled through a time hole and dates Meg Ryan. There are some hijinks although weirdly the general conclusion of the film seems to be that the 19th century was better than this one…? Meg Ryan goes back in time with him at the end, to live a romantic life instead of the empty careerism of New York etc, and I guess bravely sacrifices her right to vote in the process. ALSO: I don’t know if this is true but it’s something I noticed. Hugh Jackman comes back in time via his great-grandson who is Meg Ryan’s ex who discovered the time hole. But then she goes back at the end and I guess the implication is that she became her ex’s great grandmom too…??? He bears this stoically. Spalding Gray appears in a short scene as a psychiatrist.
IQ (1994) - Meg Ryan stars as Einstein’s niece and Einstein is played by Walter Matthau, him and some other famous physicist types conspire to set her up with a dopey but allegedly life-affirming mechanic played by Tim Robbins. TR gives Einstein a ride on his motorcycle and Einstein goes “wahoo” and then later Einstein manipulates them both to kiss and then quietly whispers “wahoo” again.
Date With Love (2016) - this is a Hallmark movie, the only things I remember are that the title feels more like it was generated by a random number machine the more you think about it and also that at one point they read one of the ex-veteran english-teacher love interest’s poems (printed in a big hardback with his face on the back) and it starts off “she walks in beauty, like… the morning sun”.
Just Like Heaven (2005) - it has the guy who plays The Hulk as the main guy, not the self-contained Hulk movies, the Avengers Hulk and he’s dating Reese Witherspoon who is in a coma but also a ghost… I actually found this one pretty charming although it got weird at the end when he’s pushing around his gf’s coma body in a hospital bed and being chased by doctors who want to turn off her life support because they don’t know she’s still a ghost… And then I looked it up and this movie’s development and release overlapped with the Terri Schiavo case!!!
I will post more later just to have a list for myself. I found out lately that there’s a Mannequin 2 somewhere so will strive to see that when I have a chance.