romm comm tuum


#1

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.


#2

thank u for ur service


#3

Romantic comedies, especially foreign ones, are a guilty pleasure. Have you seen My Sassy Girl? The original South Korean one, not the remake. It’s one of my favorites.


#4

Title material


#5

I was just thinking about rom coms the other day while watching 2015’s The Intern on TV. I haven’t seen a rom com in a while but I realized that provide this real comfort-food style safe space where you know exactly how it’s going to go but the generally vibe is uplifting, even during the dramatic moments. It was nice but also made me realize I must be old.

But now that I think about it I did watch some Christmas specials on Netflix when I couldn’t find anything else at those times, Christmas Inheritance and A Christmas Prince, both about young women disguising themselves as fake people to get employed at places for a selfish goal and learning to love a good day’s work and falling in love with the best man in town. You could interchange a lot of their plot points and still arrive at the same endings for each movie.


#6

I can’t watch these, express train to bitter loneliness


#7

Who knew Ratatouille was a ripoff


#8

any time i take a shower when i’m depressed for long enough my brain spontaneously comes up with plots for romantic comedies


#9

what the hell


#10

I have co-written a feature-length romantic comedy parody featuring a reincarnated Brigham Young. It will probably never be made.

I like good romcoms but there aren’t that many that I think are actually good. My favorite is While You Were Sleeping.

The death of the genre makes me legit sad though.


#11

the thing about korean rom-com shows is often that you have to suffer through a lot of useless bullshit inbetween the brilliant bits.

personally i am a sucker for shows starring Gong Hyo Jin (spelling is kinda right, fwiw), i can recommend ‘the greatest love’ or ‘Master’s Sun’.


#12

I have not!! I’ll keep an eye out in future.

I think Christmas movies scratch a lot of the same itch for me, the advantage is that they’re just sort of generally “Christmassy” rather than necessarily being married to the lovestory or any other specific format, the downside is they are 500% more likely to include some loveable moppets.


You’ve Got Mail (1998) - Tom Hanks has such a weird pouty smirk when he’s typing emails that he looks like he’s writing YES i pooped my diapey - - and NO, i’m not going to do ANYTHING about it >:) Chris Rock is in this for like five minutes as his best friend who only Tom Hanks ever acknowledges or talks to, maybe a ghost? This mystery is left for the tie-in comics I guess. [EDIT: this was dave chappelle! which is weirder but also serves me right for writing these at work I guess]
Anyway one interesting thing about watching these films is seeing the standard successful-yet-lonely career guy archetypes sort of morph into more contemporary shape in the figure of these millionaire corporate ceos, and then having to somehow rehabilitate that role with the smalltown handmade kind of values these movies celebrate. So like in this movie Meg Ryan runs a small children’s bookstore that she inherited from her mom and which is very quaint and homely etc and Tom Hanks runs the corporate bookstore that opens across the street and threatens to drive her out of business. and at the end of the film… he drives her out of business!!! She loses the shop but it’s ok because she gets work in the children’s department of the same megastore and I guess is dating her boss.
One thing that kept distracting me - - as the movie opens Meg Ryan is dating a newspaper op-ed writer, who’s constantly spewing little anecdotal bits of trivia and filing human interest stories about small bookstores and so forth, and… he sort of looks like David Brooks?? Is this character meant to be David Brooks??? I’m not up on my pundits so maybe it’s just a ‘type’. There’s a very weird segment where one of the older bookstore ladies reveals she used to date General Franco(!!), and the David Brooks character won’t shut up about him being a fascist instead of “something normal, like a communist or an anarchist”, and it’s sort of portrayed like he’s being an obnoxious purity tester here? The idea of New York op-ed writers as being especially antifa holds up worse than all the stuff about AOL imo.

The Beauty And The Briefcase (2010) - a tremendously enervating film with Hilary Duff going undercover in the financial sector for a Cosmo article. the main things i can remember are

  1. Hilary Duff and everyone around her spends the entire movie treating Cosmo magazine as a byword for journalistic integrity, with the strictest possible adherence to truthful reportage
  2. The love interest is basically Tim Heidecker’s character from Bridesmaids except as the actual romantic lead
  3. When she enters the workplace there’s just like a five minute sequence where she floats around admiring all the dad bods aloud while they smile and talk silently on telephones
  4. It’s set in a financial services corporation after the crash but the only time this is alluded to is “as you can imagine it’s been pretty busy around here lately”
  5. There’s a part where her roommate hovers in and greets her by saying “allaoooow” in a crepuscular leering british voice which is easily the highlight of the film
  6. At the end the article for Cosmo comes out and we know it did well because there are all these people standing around on the streets of nyc holding open copies of Cosmo and reading furiously or pointing at the page and smiling.

My Life In Ruins (2009) - A Nia Vardalos film produced in collaboration with the Greek tourism board. The main things I remember are that the love interest’s name is “Poopie” and that Nia Vardalos’s real-life husband appears as a sweaty, leering pervert desk clerk in a seedy hotel. I love Nia Vardalos because she’s an auteur and she writes and stars in her own films and in every one she casts her real husband as this horrible little bit-part gremlin guy somewhere while she pairs up with another tall, buff hunk.
Another thing about this movie - there’s a comic relief old man in the tour group she’s sheparding around, who is obnoxious and inappropriate all the time, but then he reveals his wife died, and then he becomes the moral voice who gives inspiring life advice to everyone and has a heart attack that everybody rallys together for and so forth. The random old man steals the entire third act!! The romance takes side stage next to scenes of him looking brave in a hospital bed. the general impression is, like, a bit-part actor who slowly ends up taking over the entire movie by sheer force of will. They’re lucky they released when they did before the title could change to Rude Old Man: Chronicles.

PS I Love You(2007) - I saw this with my friend who instantly renamed it “PS I’m Irish” and haven’t been able to think of it otherwise since. It’s actually not bad, Hilary Swank is good and it spends more time than you’d expect with the aftermath of the dead-husband plot and bonding with her mom about it and etc. BUT then there’s an extended flashback to when she and her husband first met, and it’s the same early-30s actors playing their younger selves, and the way they do it is just by dressing and talking like preschoolers, and it’s such a bizarre tonal shift that I was unable to concentrate on anything else for the rest of the movie. Also: at the start she and her husband are having a fight, and she’s throwing shoes at his head, and in the next section they’re all at his funeral, and I kept wondering if it was because he was hit in the head by a shoe. RIP.


I will post again soon about some popular british romcoms of the 00s and anything else that I remember.


#13

image


#14

I am extremely concerned about this


#15

Foreshadowing is a literary device in which a writer gives an advance hint of what is to come later in the story.


#16

This is easily the best topic on the forum rn


#17

Absolutely yes


#18

oh! have you seen a chinese ghost story? the original? basically, it’s about a guy (a debt collector or something?) who falls in love with a ghost he meets at an old temple he stays at. also, i might be conflating it with another movie, but i’m pretty sure there’s a taoist priest who has like, a ~2 minute rap scene. it’s radical as fuck.

my sassy girl is about a guy who starts dating a girl who threw up on him on the train. it’s like, a 2 hour movie, and we never learn the girl’s name, i don’t think. i always thought that was interesting. (i guess it’s a bit densha otoko-ish, but i did not care for densha otoko.)

i haven’t seen it recently enough to recommend it, but spellbound is about a magician who meets somebody that can see and is haunted by ghosts. eventually he tries to start dating her, but she has this vengeful ghost who is deadset on keeping her miserable and alone. it’s mostly romantic comedy stuff, but covered in a layer of fake cobwebs. i recall finding at least one scene kind of creepy, if that’s your thing.


#19

I know it’s 90s but I’m really hoping for some 4 Weddings and a Funeral content which I saw about 2-dozen times on VHS as a youngster and it took me multiple viewings to realize those two dudes were gay and I’m v. nervous to ever watch this movie again I just


#20

love actually sucks for dozens and dozens of reasons but i am still kind of amazed by the “america” subplot that is just a complete harem anime in there