Monday, 17 April 2017

A Few (of the many) Underrated Rom-Coms

I was listening to Back Row Podcasts when I heard Mike (presenter) use "rom-com" as an adjective, to describe like all bad films. Sigh. Disappointed. Romance and Rom com films have a reputation for being nothing but fluff. No depth, no message and basic film, linear film making. This just isn't true! There is an art form to romance films and comedies and they aren't given as much credit around award season and It's the bad ones and I'll admit, there are many, that give the good ones a bad rep. When Harry Met Sally isn't the last good romance film so here is a little list of some of the many great underrated romance films. And in fact, I might make this a series on the blog because there are that many.

This isn't a rom-com but I don't talk about this film enough andd it's one of my favourites of all time. It's a "romantic science fiction drama" directed by Spike Jonze about Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix), a lonely and depressed man who works for a business that has professional writers compose personal letters on behalf of people who don't want to write them. His life is pretty mundane until he buys a talking operating system with artificial intelligence. He forms a relationship with his - Samantha and over time, she develops and adapts and the two begin to fall in love.

This film to put it simply, is smart. It poses questions about our relationship with technology using what seems like an extreme example, but keeping this really heavy and emotional love story at the centre. It's incredible. 

About Time
When he's 21, Tim's (Domhnall Gleeson) dad (Bill Nighy) shares a family secret  with him. The men of his family have a special gift: the ability to travel in time but, they can only travel to places and times they've been before. Tim decides, to use it to improve his love life.

The film is by no means perfect, the storytelling perhaps has a few holes and its not intellectually challenging but the characters are so endearing. It's comfortable and funny and quaint and dreamy and, a film you get completely lost in. 

Sleeping with Other People
Is, first of all a female directed rom-com (wohooo) and, a fantastic film at that so definitely worth your support. It's about Lainey (Alison Brie) who in 2002 is insecure and awkward 20 something who's been rejected time and time again. She crosses paths with Jake (Jason Sudeikis) who is in a similar situation and the two lose their virginity to each other. The two cross paths again twelve years later and both have relationship issues. So, despite being attracted to each other, they decide to keep their relationship strictly platonic.

I know what you're thinking but it doesn't (quite) follow the typical rom-com trajectory. There are a lot more sub-plots at play and at the centre of them all is their friendship which is just so beautiful and raw and awkward and real. It's of course really funny but underneath it has this really strong emotional pull. Jason Sudeikis is definitely at his best in this smart, honest and super underrated film !

Midnight in Paris
This is Woody Allen film which follows Gil (Owen Wilson) a screenwriter, who takes a trip to Paris with his superficial/materialistic fiancee (Rachel McAdams). There he, takes walks at midnight which transport him into Paris in the 20s. Through all the people he meets: F Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Josephine Baker and many more - he's forced to confront the shortcomings of his relationship and career.

Firstly, this film is so dreamy, like visually. I mean the colour palette is very creamy with lots of pastels and bright colours but it's like hazy at night. I don't know what I'm saying, just watch it. It's quaint but made me laugh out loud at times and I just loved the time travel and meeting all these literary greats. SO FUN.

Love, Rosie
An adaptation of Where Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahern which Ihaven't read but now won't be reading because the film is a firm feelgood favourite of mine.

We meet the protagonist Rosie, at her 18th birthday party where she's drunk and Alex, her long time best friend kisses her. He realises in that moment that he's got feelings for her but the next day she regrets getting so drunk and just wishes the night never happened. This story is essentially about their friendship. (Another friendship film :') ) We see them grow up together and go through major life events and it's just a really beautiful story okay. Oh and Sam Claflin 💗

What's Your Number?
Ally (Anna Faris) comes across a magazine article which says that women who've slept with 20 or more people can't find a husband. She gets into a state of panic after she realises she's on number 19 and so decides the next guy she sleeps with has to be "the one". Aaand that's all I can say I think without ruining plot.

Anna Faris really carries this film. She's a very intuitive actress, something that's really showcased when she improvs and her comic timing is 👌👌👌👌👌. It's charming, feel good, has a really good message at the end and I think I had a little cry when it was over, just because I didn't want to leave the characters. Oh and if Captain America convinced you Chris Evans has no charisma or screen presence? This'll change your mind. 


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