Romance

Titanic (1997)

Everyone enjoys a good love story, don’t they? They may not be the highest-grossing movies of all time (if James Cameron isn’t directing, that is), but romantic movies can elicit some strong emotional responses when done right. Watching passion overcome adversity, seeing two people connect on a profound level, witnessing a giant ship sinking in icy waters. The heartstrings tremble, they also seem to set up impossible romantic ideals for us mere mortals to live up to. With the potential relationship pitfalls that come from movie expectations, I got to thinking… are romantic movies really the best love stories?

read more...

Endless Love Movies

Because nobody, absolutely nobody, even in this day and age is immune to the dulcet tones of an expertly tuned snyth or a finely-wielded keytar, two of the 1980s cheesiest offerings in the romance department are getting the remake treatment this week. Or three if you consider the stirringly deep enchantment of RoboCop. Endless Love and About Last Night, two films known for their immense subtlety and timeless love stories (Just kidding! It’s teen sex and voluminous bangs!), are being brought to the modern age because today’s youth needs to know: why is forbidden love so much sweeter when it also has the same name as a Lionel Richie song? and does navigating singlehood get any easier if you add Kevin Hart to the mix?

read more...

FILM JOCKEYS HEADER

What happens when a legendary film critic brings is geriatric crankiness to an internet movie show? Film Jockeys follows the adventures of Carl Barker, his far-too-young production staff, the filmmakers and the movie characters that inhabit their world. Written and illustrated by Derek Bacon, it’s the perfect webcomic for passionate film fans who love a little zombie romance. For your consideration, Episode #8:

read more...

Some movies have concepts that are hard sells and immediately put them at a disadvantage. Shoot a story that on its surface seems challenging or boring, and you’re really going to have to convince your audience that you’ve done your job well in order for them to give your work a chance. And then there are movies like About Cherry, which could look like the most poorly crafted film of the year, and would still get everyone’s attention. That’s because About Cherry is about a fresh young hunk of meat (Chronicle‘s Ashley Hinshaw) just getting into the porn industry; a subject that pretty much anyone can find at least some way to get excited about. And it’s also a subject that seems to give advertisers a lot of leeway in how they want to sell their product. While About Cherry’s first trailer seemed to sell it primarily as an indie romance about youth and finding love, the latest seems to sell it as much more of a slick and moody drama about the dark side of the entertainment industry. We’re shown a lot more footage of the porny stuff getting filmed, which seems to be the hard sell, and then we hear the naive young protagonist describe a coked-up James Franco as being “the nicest guy,” which introduces an unsettling amount of dread.

read more...

The Best Short Films

Why Watch? Impersonating a nun, finding impure uses for her body parts, seducing a man of the cloth – Jennifer Garner is filthy. And sweet. And in love. In Rodrigo Garcia‘s new short, she and Alfred Molina sap every ounce of humanity and drama from the wood of the confessional. It’s a film comprised almost solely of dialogue (with a pristine shot selection just for good measure). There’s a pulpy feel to it – a kind of polite insanity that still feels rooted even in its mythical (and undeniably romantic) setting. Both actors are in solid form here – proof that Garner can do more than what she’s been handed in the past, and although her sweetness is played upon, it never feels exploitative. What will it cost? Only 11 minutes. Skip Work. You’ve Got Time For More Short Films

read more...

Culture Warrior

Imagine what some of our most beloved romantic films would look like if they were made in the 21st century. Laura and Alec of David Lean’s Brief Encounter could have managed their secret meetups over text. Harry and Sally could have checked each others’ okcupid accounts before explaining every aspect of what they seek in a partner over a cross-country road trip. And Ilsa would never have had to get on that plane because, y’know, the war’s over. This is a fruitless endeavor, I know, but it brings one thing into light which poses both problems and opportunities for the contemporary romance film, specifically the romantic comedy: politics, economic conditions, shifting gender roles, and technological evolution means different kinds of relationships and, thus, different kinds of romantic movies. How can the 21st century romance film expect the wedding-bell-chiming happy ending to work in a society full of emerging adults who feel less and less of a need to get married? How can new romantic comedies account for the fact that today’s working professional must move constantly – putting all their human relationships at risk – in order to find a job that suits them without only making films about the uber-privileged? Will there ever be a mainstream romantic comedy featuring a non-monogomous or non-heteronormative protagonist? Several recent screen romances have attempted to tackle the changing nature of relationships – or, at least, the type of relationship typically depicted in the Hollywood romance.

read more...

In what sounds like a very cool (schmoopy romance can be cool right?) project, Richard Curtis is writing and directing About Time – a story focusing on a young man named Tim who finds out that he’s one in a long line of time travelers. That comes with some impressive powers, no doubt. Groundhog Day-like powers. Or the ability to go back and make sure Hitler wasn’t born or something important like knowing all the right questions in class or on dates. According to Variety, the production is looking at Zooey Deschanel as the leading love interest which means the costume department will be searching on ModCloth and she’ll get to sing a song. While we all fall in love with her manic big-eyed dreamgirlness. Right now, Tim the Time Traveler is being played by Domhnall Gleeson (Bill Weasley in Harry Potter, Shadow Dancer and Anna Karenina). All in all, it sounds like a potentially large-hearted project with a sci-fi conceit hiding somewhere in the atria. Plus, Gleeson is a presence with range who is beginning to come into his own after the massive wand-wielding franchise, and even though New Girl is solid comedy work, it’s about time Deschanel returned to film.

read more...

Aural Fixation - Large

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day (which I know came and went two days ago, but I wanted to keep the romance going) I decided to get into the spirit of things by looking not just into romantic movies, but movies that featured romantic moments where music played a big part in the delivery. We all know the moment when the music swells and our two leads finally lean in, run for or jump into that kiss or embrace created to make our hearts swoon. But I’m not talking about those moments. I’m talking about the moments where the music was just as important as anything said or done and it was the music that truly helped bring the romance to the scene (granted most of these moments were usually also paired with two good looking actors making eyes at each other). Grab your leftover chocolate and conversation hearts and join me in watching these love birds sing, dance and profess their love through the magic of music in these movie moments that are as much about the tunes as they are about the love.

read more...

With the entire original run of The Twilight Zone available to watch instantly, we’re partnering with Twitch Film to cover all of the show’s 156 episodes. Are you brave enough to watch them all with us? The Twilight Zone (Episode #119): “Passage on the Lady Anne” (airdate 5/9/63) The Plot: A woman believes a cruise is the ticket to saving her marriage, but it’s doubtful that her heart will go on. The Goods: Eillen Ransome (Joyce Van Patten, who most recently could be seen in Grown Ups and Marley & Me) is not having the best marriage. Her husband Allen (Lee Philips) seems to be sniping at her more and more, and she’s treating him the same way. After eight years, the magic seems to be gone. Where better to find it than the open ocean? They board a cruiser from New York to Southampton, England, and the emotional states begin ebbing and flowing with the seas themselves. It’s funny, though. All the other passengers seem to be far, far older than the Ransomes.

read more...

The Italian Key is the first feature film from writer/director Rosa Karo, and it tells the story of an orphan girl who inherits a key that unlocks a fantastical villa in Italy (hence the title) and, wait for it, her family history as well. The romance looks like it was stamped on the front of a postcard, but the trailer doesn’t deliver much of a hint as to its substance. The tone seems to fit perfectly with tinkling piano keys, but it also has a hint of brightness to it. What does that mean? That it’s got potential. Regardless of what it might hold on the inside, it’s definitely got a pretty package. Check it out for yourself:

read more...

I’ve no better, more eloquent way to put this — Gus Van Sant‘s Restless is awful, pandering, painfully acted, lazily written, up its own ass schlock. It’s bad. This is not the Van Sant that pulled beautiful, nuanced performances from his actors in Good Will Hunting, gave us solid, dark, indie-fare like Elephant, or even the almost total airball remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. This, perhaps, is a sign that Van Sant has taken his title as arthouse darling and run it completely off the rails.

read more...

Why Watch? Tapping into human nature means scanning the stars and the self. It might have been easy for director Mark Buchanan to deliver airy faux-philosophy with this concept, but he wisely avoids it in exchange for a genuine human story of a troubled family, a piece of technology meant to find life on other planets, and a reminder that we’re not alone. Part science-non-fiction, part Lives of Others, this film is effortlessly engaging through a smart blend of camera work and sound where voices often come from off screen, and writing that makes us ache to learn the people behind those voices. This is human foibles and failings and drama and humor done brilliantly well. What does it cost? Just 12 minutes of your time. Check out The Search for yourself:

read more...

There’s a lot of dancing going on in this trailer for Michael Winterbottom‘s Trishna. Typical Bollywood style numbers with their elaborate flair. Intimate undulations between two people falling in love. The kind of dance moves that happen between sheets. They’re all there, and they all look stunning. Winterbottom seeks to confound here a bit, combining several elements from past films and making something that looks nothing like anything he’s done before. There’s a dash of 24 Hour Party People, the sensuality of 9 Songs, and maybe even a taste of A Mighty Heart‘s dramatics, but over all, this story of star cross’d lovers looks like a new animal. It stars Freida Pinto and Riz Ahmed as the daughter of a rickshaw owner and the son of a land developer that only have eyes for each other. How much do you want to bet that their love is forbidden? Sink down into the poetry of it all for yourself:

read more...

Stop groaning at that headline and start moaning along with this clever, mildly silly trailer for Hysteria. Based on the historical invention of the vibrator, the film boasts Felicity Jones, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Hugh Dancy, Rupert Everett, Jonathan Pryce and a bunch of women shaking their thighs in ecstasy. Seriously. There are a lot of shots of women coming in this thing. Beyond that, it has the usual flair that any period piece might aspire to. The costuming, the set work, the language. It’s all there along with some cheeky humor and what looks like a romantic foundation the focuses on taming a shrew. Plug in, and check it out for yourself:

read more...

Sundance veteran Drake Doremus returned to Park City this year with a very different film than 2010’s Douchebag. For his 2011 entry, Doremus brought along Like Crazy, a sensitive and romantic film that doesn’t rely on anyone taking their shirt off or ludicrous meet-cutes or casts packed with tween pop stars to make it work. I saw the film back in January at Sundance, and it is one of two romantic dramedies with a young, hip cast from the festival that has stuck in my mind these many months. The other one, the Freddie Highmore-starring The Art of Getting By (retitled from its Sundance name, Homework) has remained in my brain mainly due to how much I hated it. It’s frowned upon to spit when speaking about films, but that’s been the best way I’ve found to physically express how terrible that movie was, and how emotionally disingenuous. On the flipside, there was Doremus’s Like Crazy, which stars Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones (with co-starring appearances by Jennifer Lawrence and Charlie Bewley). Not to get emotional over here (because, you know, gross), but Like Crazy is one of the best films about long distance relationships I’ve ever seen (and I know from long distance relationships).

read more...

Catherine Breillat’s new film The Sleeping Beauty (La belle endormie) marks yet another entry in what seems to be a growing set of preoccupations for the feminist auteur: the costume drama and the fairy tale. In her follow-up to 2009’s Bluebeard, The Sleeping Beauty is her second consecutive deconstruction of a Charles Perrault fairytale, and her third past-set movie when taking into account 2007’s The Last Mistress. This is an interesting transition for a filmmaker whose previous work focused frankly and explicitly on contemporary gender politics and the exercise of power through the human body. Breillat’s intellectual obsessions remain largely the same even as her aesthetic and spatiotemporal settings have changed, but Bluebeard and The Last Mistress, while a welcome transition into ostensibly “new” territory, were in this writer’s opinion far from her best work. It’s difficult to deny a feeling of rejuvenation throughout The Sleeping Beauty — a joyful embrace of carnival ambivalence in both tone and content that looks and feels inspired, a film that explores (in a way unprecedented in her work) the potentially irreverent (and, let’s face it, fun) excesses of the medium while still providing room for Breillat to exercise her signature mode of critique.

read more...

Every year, there are a few movies that hit festivals hard and come out on the other side being talked about like legends. They’re hyped, loved up, and the general public may never get to see them. One of those films this year is, without a doubt, Attack the Block. The other, is Bellflower. The trailer for the film is a bit discombobulated, trying to merge sweetness with insanity, but it looks undeniably unique. Names like Fight Club, John Hughes, and Mad Max are evoked between images of a fire-breathing muscle car and the cuteness of a new couple playing verbal footsie. Those comparisons will be a lot to live up to, but if festival goers and critics can be trusted, Bellflower rises to the occasion.

read more...

Why Watch? Because you might just love splurt because of this one. HitRECord is such a brilliant project – one of the few that really understands crowdsourcing and the artistic merit found by people not on the payroll of the majors. HitRECord produced this short, and everyone involved deserves praise. It may be a hallmark of their ideals, but it’s also a serious reminder that movies are the art that combines all arts. With silent film era style (there’s even a Mélèis moon involved) and cut-out artwork setting the stage, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and co-star Lexy Hume navigate a live-action/animated dating world that seems written by a wine-happy George Orwell, and designed by the lovechild of Charlie Chaplin and the Squirrel Nut Zippers. What does it cost? Just 5 minutes of your time. Check out Morgan M. Morgansen’s Date With Destiny for yourself:

read more...

There is no better phrase to describe Nicholas Sparks‘s writing than “safe haven.” He’s found a structure that requires only that he shove in new character names and weaknesses, come up with some horrific tragedy to slam on the brakes near the end, and collect the checks. Strangely enough, director Lasse Hallström may have found his pattern as well, as Deadline Daytona is reporting that the veteran might sign on to direct the next appropriately titled Sparks adaptations. Safe Haven is the story of a young lady who doesn’t want to make friends, but then makes friends while stuffing her terrible secret deep, deep down. I haven’t read the book, but it’s shoe money that the secret comes out. And that a character we’ve grown to care about is diagnosed with Instant Death Disease with only 5 minutes left in the movie. Hallström broken his Sparks cherry with Dear John, and with his work on Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, it seems like he might be switching between curious storytelling and cookie-cutter, made-for-money Sparksian non-challenges. On the other hand, he’s no stranger to romances (like Chocolat), and it’ll be worthwhile if he can find a romantic sponsor for his other films. As long as it doesn’t get in the way of him making those other films (he’s signed on for a Danish crime drama called The Hypnotist for 2012 release), then what harm could it do?

read more...

Why Watch? Because finding love might be a matter of reaching out through the personal ads. Andrew Blubaugh creates a touching drama here of one man’s experience reaching out and touching someone through the ads. Honestly, it’s sometimes tough to tell whether this is a documentary or simply shot as one, but no matter what genre you want to shove it into, it’s good. Yes, it’s about a gay man trying to find love, but it goes far beyond simple sexuality and nails down 1) something we’re all deeply invested in and 2) the only reason anyone ever creates any piece of art. What Will It Cost? Just 7 minutes of your time. Check out Hello, Thanks for yourself:

read more...
NEXT PAGE  
Some movie websites serve the consumer. Some serve the industry. At Film School Rejects, we serve at the pleasure of the connoisseur. We provide the best reviews, interviews and features to millions of dedicated movie fans who know what they love and love what they know. Because we, like you, simply love the art of the moving picture.
Fantastic Fest 2014
6 Filmmaking Tips: James Gunn
Got a Tip? Send it here:
editors@filmschoolrejects.com
Publisher:
Neil Miller
Managing Editor:
Scott Beggs
Associate Editors:
Rob Hunter
Kate Erbland
Christopher Campbell
All Rights Reserved © 2006-2014 Reject Media, LLC | Privacy Policy | Design & Development by Face3