Romantic Comedies

The Wedding Singer

Much has already been devoted to talking about how Blended is Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler’s third romantic comedy together. The duo began as an unlikely pair in 1998’s The Wedding Singer, the 80s centric flick in which Sandler played an aspiring rock star paying the bills through wedding gigs and attempting to win the heart of the beautiful Julia. They entered their thirties by portraying Hawaii’s cutest amnesiac and the world’s most determined reformed womanizer in 50 First Dates in 2004. And with this year’s entry into their romcom resume, they’ll slip into the shoes of divorcee parents who happen to get stuck on the same wild vacation together, even though they hate each other. Don’t you hate when that happens? Sandler and Barrymore have this great trend of starring in a romantic comedy together about once every 10 years, and it’s working out well in their favor; how much more publicity have you seen being thrown toward Blended because it’s reuniting everyone’s favorite couple and not because of the content of the film itself? We’re all too aware of what’s probably going to happen in a modern day Sandler comedy, thanks. Their chemistry, likeability and the sheer nostalgia of bringing the two back together for another love story has made audiences wistful about these crazy kids; they remember rooting for them alongside Billy Idol almost 20 years ago, and now, they get that chance again. Of course, Sandler and Barrymore are far from the first couple to pair […]

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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?

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A Field in England

The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere. There will be a quiz later. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya?

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The Room Movie

The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya?

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When Harry Met Sally

The most recent “X is dead” proclamation comes from The Hollywood Reporter in the form of an obituary for the Hollywood romantic comedy. It’s cause of death, of course, is a lust for an international market and high concepts that play there, but while the article from Tatiana Siegel initially frames the loss with a black veil (the title proclaims that Harry wouldn’t meet Sally in 2013), the reality of the situation isn’t a cause for dirges. Instead, it’s an opportunity for innovation that deserves a marching band. At least two of the filmmakers interviewed said as much. First, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World producer Joy Gorman: “The meet-cute is dead. The only ones that have a chance are ones with a very fresh take.” So the ones that abide strictly to a tired checklist don’t have a shot? Excellent. Second, there’s The Vow director Michael Sucsy: “Audiences aren’t tired of romance; they’re tiring of formulas. There is still a demand, and there always will be, for fresh and innovative stories that are smart and nuanced.” Even as caped heroes take over the entire world, there’s still hope for Harry and Sally.

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McGregor and Hudson

Okay, so maybe claiming that Kate Hudson has an anti-charm is a bit unfair. But, generally, if you hear that a movie is going to star Ewan McGregor, even if it sounds a little stupid, your general reaction is going to be, “well, at least Ewan McGregor is in it.” And when you hear that a movie is going to star Kate Hudson, even if it looks promising, your general reaction is going to be, “well, Kate Hudson picked the script, so clearly it’s got to be awful.” What then to expect from this new romantic comedy, Born to Be King, now that McGregor is attached to star and Hudson is negotiating to be his co-star? Seeing as the film was written and is to be directed by Peter Capaldi, an actor-turned-director who hasn’t had much experience making features (he made Strictly Sinatra is 2001), it’s hard to make a prediction on which actor’s track record will take precedence based on the filmmaker’s past work. It appears we have to move on to plot synopsis to try and make a judgment. According to the Variety article that broke the news of McGregor and Hudson’s casting, Born to Be King is about an extra on a film set (McGregor) who looks uncannily like a big star stumbling into a romance with a starlet (Hudson) who is said to be at war with her co-star.

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Kid Cudi

Generally people in the hip hop world like to be seen as more than just rappers, or DJs, or whatever. In order to make it big in the hip hop world you have to be seen as a triple, quadruple, or fivetuple threat. So seeing as he’s already branched out from making hip hop, to producing hip hop, to having a rock band, to acting in TV’s How to Make It in America, Kid Cudi (aka Scott Mescudi) should be well on his way to being the next big mogul, especially now that he’s taking his acting career further by seeking out film roles. The latest part he’s landed is in debut director Max Nichol’s upcoming romantic comedy Two Night Stand, which tells the story of two people who agree to have a sleazy one night stand finding themselves put in the awkward position of being snowed in and having to spend more time together. No, Cudi isn’t playing the lead—as a matter of fact his role as the boyfriend of the female protagonist’s best friend doesn’t sound like it will probably amount to much screen time at all—but there are a couple x-factors here that point to the fact that Two Night Stand might be the perfect vehicle for Cudi to dip his toe into the film world and show off what he has to offer as a comedic actor.

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Anne Hathaway

After getting off the sinking ship that is NBC’s The Office earlier than most of her co-stars and successfully getting her starring vehicle sitcom The Mindy Project picked up for a full season at Fox, actress and writer Mindy Kaling’s career is looking to be in pretty good shape. But wise moves in the TV landscape may not be the extent of her current success, as it’s now looking like a romantic comedy script Kaling co-wrote is likely to get produced as a feature as well. The film, which Kaling co-wrote with veteran TV writer Brent Forrester, is called The Low Self-Esteem of Lizzie Gillespie, and is reportedly about a girl, who has dated nothing but losers, suddenly getting pursued by the most attractive man in the world. The reason Lizzie Gillespie is likely to soon be put into production is that it just got a big star attached to it in Anne Hathaway. Hathaway, of course, was a big name in the business already, but after playing Catwoman in this year’s The Dark Knight Rises, she’s got to be considered one of the most powerful leading ladies around, and every time a bankable star gets attached to a script, it’s generally only a matter of time before a director signs on and distribution deals come a callin’.

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Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan Cast in The F Word

It’s no secret that recent hockey comedy Goon is an FSR favorite, so it’s been with great anticipation that we’ve been waiting for word about director, Michael Dowse’s next project. Fortunately for everyone, that wait is over. Variety is reporting that the director is currently at work putting together a romantic comedy called The F Word, that comes from a 2008 Black List script by Elan Mastai. The story, which is based off of a play by T.J. Dawe and Michael Rinaldi called “Toothpaste and Cigars,” sounds simple enough. It’s about a duo of twentysomethings who meet at a party and hit it off instantly, but are faced with the task of being “just friends” because the girl is already tied up with a beau. Again, simple enough, but the intrigue comes from the casting that’s already been done. In order to fill the roles of the two lovestruck young people, Dowse has called upon the talents of Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan. Radcliffe, of course, is best known for headlining the Harry Potter franchise. His first foray outside of that mystical world was his starring role in The Woman in Black, where he somewhat ridiculously played a widowed lawyer with muttonchops. Perhaps this role as a young lover will be a better fit for the actor, and the easy transition he needs to get the public to stop thinking of him as a boy wizard.

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Director David Wain has been a big name in the alternative comedy scene for a long time due to his work on The State and Stella, but he’s still looked at as something of a neophyte in the world of feature films. He’s directed one cult hit with his weird summer camp spoof Wet Hot American Summer, and one mainstream hit with his criminals-turned-mentors movie Role Models; but his last film, Wanderlust, kind of came and went with only a whimper. Let’s just chalk that up to the fact that it had Jennifer Aniston in the lead, though. Has anyone ever heard of a comedy she was in making any money? Undaunted by the terrors of possible obscurity, Wain is going back to the drawing board and putting together another project. Variety has word that it’s a comedy called They Came Together, and that it comes from a screenplay that has deep roots in Wain’s past. He co-wrote the film with fellow The State and Stella member Michael Showalter right after Wet Hot American Summer came out. It was a simple time, before Wain had to concern himself with things like studio concerns and mainstream relatability. Which begs the question – will this long unproduced script see Wain returning to his more absurdist comedic roots? And, if that’s the case, will a healthy dose of weird be what it takes to re-engage the eyeballs of a public who all but ignored his last project?

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They always say that the first year of being married is the hardest. So hard, in fact, that watching newlyweds suffer through things can be pretty fertile grounds for comedy. Or at least that’s the bet writer/director Dan Mazer (Dog Bites Man) is making with his new romantic comedy I Give It A Year. This one tells the story of a horribly mismatched couple trying to survive their first year together, and from the title and the cast announced so far, it would seem that it also heavily involves the couple’s skeptical friends. Prometheus actor Rafe Spall is already set to play the husband, and according to a report from Variety, Anna Faris has agreed to join the film as his wife. That isn’t the end of things as far as casting news goes, though. Margin Call’s Simon Baker and Bridesmaids’ Rose Byrne are also signed up to play what are described as “strong supporting characters.” Whether that term is to be taken figuratively or literally, it presumably points to the fact that they will be the principal actors’ naysaying friends.

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Beastie!

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s candy-colored hearts, bright-blooming flowers, lovable links, rainbows just doing whatever the hell it is rainbows do, heartwarming stories, woods-dwelling beasties, and pink-frosted movie news with a woman’s touch. At least, that’s what it is tonight. Leading off with some greats news, congratulations are in order for the Internet’s own Alison Willmore, as IndieWire has just announced that they have hired the very talented writer to head up their expanded television coverage as their brand new TV Editor. Between her scribblings over at Movieline, the AV Club, and Time Out New York, and of course her new podcast with constant collaborator Matt Singer, Filmspotting: SVU, I’m not entirely sure when Willmore will be sleeping, but it does mean the rest of us will be treated to still more of her brilliant insights into entertainment. As someone who struggles to love television as much as I love film, I suspect Willmore’s new work might finally get me invested in the small screen. It’s not often that you can mark the precise moment a feature film grabs your interest, but tonight I’m able to pinpoint the second that Snow White and the Huntsman finally spoke to me. At The Playlist, they’ve posted some new photos from the film’s Facebook page, including that one up top, with Kristen Stewart going eye-to-eye with some kind of beastie. The picture’s caption teases “friend or foe?” I don’t care which one it is, I’m just excited that one of the […]

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Over Under: A New Perspective on Films New and Old

Recently, I found myself looking for a movie to watch that was Christmasy and festive, but not necessarily something so holiday-themed that it had Santa Clauses, reindeer, and Jesuses in it. You know, something about normal people but set around the time of the holidays. While perusing all of the top ten holiday movie lists that I could find around the web, I saw one title keep popping up again and again, Richard Curtis’s Love Actually. I never saw this one when it came out, it just looked like another generic romantic comedy to me, but it turns out a lot of people love to watch it every year around the Christmas season. And further research led me to the fact that a lot of people mention it as one of the few romantic comedies that’s actually good from the last decade as well. Sounded strong enough for me to give it a watch. It turns out I didn’t much care for the film, though, and my need for something Christmasy had been left unsated. Not willing to go out on another limb, I decided to revisit a film that I had already seen before, one that I remembered enjoying much more than I was expecting to back when it was released. This second choice was Thomas Bezucha’s 2005 film The Family Stone, which already seems to be rather forgotten. Luckily for me, time did not prove my idiocy, because upon a second watch I found that I still enjoyed […]

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The trailer for The Five-Year Engagement doesn’t make it look like a movie I’m too excited to see. Which is strange, because it’s not just the latest film from director Nicholas Stoller, it’s also his latest writing collaboration with Jason Segel, and I love pretty much everything that these guys do. I think the problem is that this one looks like it’s going to be a romantic comedy that’s a little bit heavier on the relationship drama than it will be on the comedy. I like my Jason Segel more silly and whimsical than the one I’m seeing here, dealing with the trials and tribulations of loving a woman who’s career path is taking his life in a different direction than he saw it going. On the flip side of the coin, this little two-and-a-half minute trailer is pretty much the most comedy I’ve ever seen Segel’s co-star Emily Blunt do, and she seems to be rather good at it. Not every actor can do comedy, so you’re never sure what you’re going to get until they try. The image of Kate Hudson getting shot in the leg with an arrow really doesn’t do much for me, but when it happens to Blunt here I got my one solid laugh from the trailer. Emily Blunt certainly isn’t my issue. Check out the first trailer for The Five-Year Engagement after the break.

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The horror…the horror… The best part about this poster for New Year’s Eve is either that it features all of the names and pictures of the actors, but not in the same order, or that the catchphrase “Let The Countdown Begin” lets us know that it’s a Doomsday Movie. Garry Marshall, who should be ashamed of himself for directing Valentine’s Day, proves once and for all that he owes some serious men down at the race track by stepping up to direct this sequel which seeks to squeeze even less screen time out for even more famous faces. Also, Homeless Hector Elizondo is kind of cruel considering they made everyone else look halfway decent (except for Ashton Kutcher who clearly didn’t show up for a photo shoot and forced the marketing department to find a paparazzi shot of him smiling). Enough with the words! Check it out for yourself, and feel free to largify it by clicking (if you dare):

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Over/Under is a weekly column in which we even the odds between two films that have, perhaps unfairly, developed very disparate legacies over the passing of time. This week finds us looking for inspiration in the realm of the romantic comedy. Or, more specifically, we’re looking at one of the best-regarded romantic comedies of the last couple decades in 1993’s Sleepless in Seattle, and one that’s oft forgotten and sometimes derided in 1990’s Joe Versus the Volcano.

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NicolasWindingRefn

Nicolas Winding Refn is a great filmmaker. He’s also an avid toy collector and a man obsessed with violence and criminals. Watch how these things come together as we enter the mind of the man who gave us Bronson.

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an_education_trailer

Another trailer for An Education is online daring people to rebel in a polite sort of British way. Between the difficult and boring, and the easy and fun – which do you choose?

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weddingdoctorpost

While Neil’s out of town, he wanted me to focus on some lighter news stories. I’ve decided to take that as “make fun of lighter news stories.”

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jason-sudeikis-1

Jason Sudeikis can be seen weekly on SNL and “30 Rock,” and now he’ll be trying his hand at moving pictures with his first co-starring role. Can he make the jump or will his performances in The Rocker and What Happens in Vegas weigh him down?

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