Entries in the Category "romantic comedies"
Movie Reviews: Stuff I've Seen Lately
This movie was a real strut for Warren Beatty—throughout he’s the smartest, craftiest, stealthiest, studliest guy around. When his character—a journalist—literally won a barfight, I gave up expecting anything else. That made the movie sort of silly, in addition to the narrative, which was quite obscure and impenetrable for an action-thriller. Also, the last section went on for ages. There are some really great suspense movies from the 70s, but this isn’t one of them.
I saw the remake, with Jude Law, way back when, and thought at the time that it felt old-fashioned. The refrain of, “What does it all mean?” was, I think, by 2004, a question that people born in the era of self-help were a little more used to asking themselves. I was interested, then, in seeing the original, with a youthful Michael Caine, to see if it made more sense in a historical context. The answer is, yes, it does. The incredibly shallow journey to selfhood really should belong to a guy with sideburns, who calls women “birds.” I could quibble with the sexism in the movie, but it was positively quaint, with Alfie having a moment of realization that his victimized girlfriend “has feelings! Just like me!” As a period piece, it was fun. (It seemed weird, though, to have Shelley Winters in a glamorous role—could Roseanne’s Nana Mary really ever have been a sex symbol?)
Click ahead for five more films (but only two produced in my lifetime!)
Shameful Movie Cliches
Seen yesterday at The AV Club: Which movie clichés would you like to see abolished from culture?
They hit a lot of my favorite bad clichés—even “Cool guys don’t look at explosions!”—and Tasha Robinson’s inclusion of the suddenly whiny wife is one of my favorites. Gone Baby Gone had a pretty terrible one—I remember commenting to Jeremy after that movie, “Hey, you know why Michelle Monaghan left Casey Affleck at the end of the movie?” “Why?” “So we would know how completely the case destroyed his life. You know, in case we weren’t getting that.”
Here are some other clichés that make me groan, roll my eyes, slap my forehead comically, or sometimes just say, “Oh, hell no”:
- characters explaining who they are to each other so that the viewers at home understand the relationships: “Jennifer, we’ve been best friends since we were 5! We shouldn’t have any secrets from each other”
- revealing that a character is pregnant by having her faint or vomit in one scene and facing the positive pregnancy test (and/or doctor) in the next
- guys who jog on sandy beaches at sunrise live charmed lives, but if they are running on a treadmill, they are soulless, bourgeois go-getters
- the hero is a crack shot who can take out the villain with one bullet between the eyes; the villain's forty-seven henchmen were unable to so much as wound the hero, instead sending bullets whizzing past his head, where they lodge themselves in the drywall
- crime thrillers in which detectives input evidence into ADVANCED HIGH TECH MACHINERY and get all the answers they needed, and/or seek the assistance of psychics or otherwise spiritual people who can “envision” the crime, all so the detective may avoid any type of critical thinking or, you know, investigation
- the mom bustling around the kitchen in the morning serving eggs and bacon and orange juice; while the dad and the kids race through, on their way to somewhere, mom idles away, as though she has nothing to do until 6pm when it’s time for her to serve everyone another meal
- the morbidly obese person as un-self-conscious sex maniac
- the girl who was a nerd in high school who (for some reason) wanted to date the dumb, sadistic captain of the football time
- superhumanly attractive actresses who are thought to be more relatable if they have boy’s names like Alex, and/or fall down a lot
- montages where an actress tries on a bunch of outfits or different pairs of shoes
- romantic comedies where the couple's fights are about the guy leaving the toilet seat up or the cap off the toothpaste (get better things to fight about!)
- romantic comedies where the protagonist whines that they “just want to grow old with somebody!”
- romantic comedies where the couple’s relationship is established through a series of still photos of the two of them gazing into each other’s eyes and/or kissing—who continually takes pictures of themselves nuzzling each other?
- romantic comedies in general
There's room for more hated cliches in the comments!
Movie Reviews: Men versus Women edition
Well, is the movie good? The performances are good. The film itself is memorable to the point of being iconic—it has incredible cultural value, providing a snapshot of male-female relations during this screwed-up period in the 70s and 80s when women were making these huge strides towards independence and equality amidst a really severe backlash. I think the movie accurately presents the fear men must have felt about the way women were usurping their cultural roles.
But it’s a man’s fear, not a cultural fear, and that fear was/is irrational, and the movie doesn’t make that point; instead it uses the filmic conventions of a horror film where the “monster” is a needy, aggressive woman, and then it destroys her, because that’s what you do with the monster at the end.
More about Fatal Attraction, plus Harry Meets Sally and I hate the world, after the jump.