The “______ with a heart of gold” trope is a longstanding one in the romantic comedy genre. The hooker with a heart of gold! The womanizer with a heart of gold! The criminal mastermind with a heart of gold! The murderer with a heart of gold! The disabled puppy with a heart of gold! Whatever, etc. All those hidden hearts need is a little love, affection and a long walk on the beach or two and — ding! — instant gold reveal. And after those plated hearts show themselves, what follows is romance and a bit of comedy and some good fun. Rom-coms have no problem introducing kinda-jerks, setting them up to meet the love of their life and then allowing them to be “worthy” of such love because they’re willing to change.
In romantic comedies, you can be a total goddamn asshole and still get the girl (or the guy). That’s the charm, right? Everyone deserves love! Even the horrible people. Wrong. This is stupid and idiotic and it needs to stop now — but that doesn’t mean that there’s not one more film in the can that’s all about a horrible man (in this case, Michael Douglas) apparently changing, thanks to the love of a good woman (Diane Keaton) and some fluffy hijinks. It’s Rob Reiner‘s And So It Goes! And it makes us miss When Harry Met Sally!
Watch Diane Keaton settle for what should be every woman’s worst nightmare, after the break.
In the new feature, Douglas plays a smarmy realtor who is being held back by more than just some regular character flaws — he appears to be a class A jerk, with some tendencies that run towards the probably racist and sexist (is he homophobic, too, just for good measure? we can’t tell from this first trailer). Such personality fissures seem to be working out for him okay, because — like most jerks! — he doesn’t seem at all upset by his life. It seems pretty good. (It also seems like he’s been like this for a very long time.)
Enter the inconvenient granddaughter. Suddenly saddled with a kiddo (probably from a union between his son and a maid, hardy har har har), Douglas has to make some life changes. Enter his charming-ish neighbor (Keaton) and let the sparks fly. Or, at least, let the age appropriate wooing fly. Honestly, what did Keaton’s characater do to deserve this? She seems pretty great.
And So It Goes will open on July 11th. Ain’t love grand? [Yahoo! Movies]