Archive for the ‘romcom’ Category

SMS Für Dich – **(*)

Posted: September 13, 2017 in 2016, Drama, Germany, Romance, romcom, XX1/2

Long Distance Flight movie #2

In this romantic tale from Germany, a children’s book illustrator struggles with life after her fiancée was killed in a car accident. Several months go by and she can’t find inspiration for new material. A good friend convinces her to come back to Berlin and another acquaintance suggests she should start communicating with her deceased boyfriend in order to cope with the loss. She starts using her old cell phone again (she had kept in a removal box) and decides to send a message to the number of her dead friend. There is no reply and she continues communicating this way.

In the mean time, a sports journalist receives a new cell phone number at work and starts receiving these weird messages from a girl who confesses all of her thoughts and feelings. He gets so intrigued that he decides to look for her. When they meet its love at first sight. The only problem is: he has not told her that he receives her messages…

It’s a classic movie. With no surprises. It’s been done before, just updated to the messaging times we live in. There is humour and there is an old-fashioned love interest. If this movie was made in the nineties with Tom hanks and Meg Ryan or in the fifties with Doris Day and Rock Hudson, they would have been global box office successes. But this one comes from Germany and got a limited release. Too bad. Great acting. Good story. Recommended.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5193460

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Kebab Connection – **

Posted: August 13, 2017 in 2004, Comedy, Germany, romcom, XX

You know when a movie is old when a) people don’t use cell or smart phones to communicate with each other and b) people smoke in public rooms. However, Kebab Connection is from 2004. Not that long ago. It just looks like it was made back in the eighties. And that was probably the point.

Finally, after ordering a Döner Kebab (that’s a fact), the time was right to watch this German romcom about a young aspiring movie maker of Turkish descent whose aspiring actress girlfriend turns out to be pregnant. It’s a Romeo & Julia love story set in Hamburg. There’s little drama, but quite a lot of humor. It feels fresh. But it also feels like it was made with a very low budget. There are plenty of references to classic movie scenes. The acting is good. It’s quite entertaining. And at times original. It’s simple, somewhat naive, amateur and very positive. A old fashioned feel good movie. And sometimes, that’s all you need.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0177882

Café Society – *

Posted: February 1, 2017 in 2016, romcom, USA, X

Nerdy Jew goes to Hollywood in the hope his rich uncle will give him a job in the movie industry. There he meets his uncle’s hot secretary and falls in love. Unfortunately, the girl already has a boyfriend even though she loves spending time with her new ‘best friend’. When her boyfriend breaks up, he’s quick to use her vulnerability to score. All goes fine until the ex boyfriend divorces from his wife and tries to get back with the secretary. Yes, HIS secretary.

This very predictable romcom lacks romance nor comedy. It’s an incredibly boring story told by an uninspired storyteller and performed by actors who miss the talent of reciting funny dialogue and lack chemistry when put next to each other.

It’s the kind of movie that makes you understand why some people find Woody Allen (director) and Kirsten Stewart (the secretary) overrated. It’s the kind of movie that proofs again that Jesse Eisenberg (the nerdy jew) is a very boring and annoying actor to look at.

Oh, but the set design and recreation of thirties Hollywood en New York safe it from being a total waste of time.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4513674

 

Love Come Back – **

Posted: January 2, 2017 in 1961, romcom, USA, XX

Movie Night with my mom. Her choice: an oldie with Rock Hudson and Doris Day. A fun one! Of course, the story evolves around a huge misunderstanding, but it gets quite complicated for a simple screwball comedy. Two competitors in the advertisement industry vie for the same clients. One (Rock Hudson’s Jerry) always gets them, because he’s a) a man; b) a professional liar and c) gives them exclusive gifts. The other (Doris Day’s Carol) is a) a woman, b) dead honest and c) just always too late. There’s rumor about a new product being launched, called VIP and Carol wants to find its inventor before Jerry does. However, as she gets to the inventor’s house she meet Jerry (who she never met before) and who pretends to be the inventor himself.

It’s all a bit far fetched. But it’s a screwball comedy from the sixties, so who cares. It’s nice to watch the set design and the advertisement world, realizing that the team from Mad Men must have looked at this movie as well. It’s also interesting to see how Rock Hudson acted at his peak being a woman’s idol, still being in the closet, but adding ‘hints’ in certain scenes about his sexuality, which are only obvious decades later.

The end is a bit abrupt and over the top. But the movie surprisingly stood the test of time. There’s a certain charm about romcoms from the past that don’t explicitly show sex and lust, but hint at it. And Doris Day is a cool feminist model, too conservative of course, but still. After watching Mad Men which takes place after this movie was released and focuses on the struggle of women in the advertisement world, it’s pretty cool to see Day perform  an independent, single living, creative and ambitious professional gal. Learn from her, Peggy Olson!

Oh, and if there’s ever a biopic about Rock Hudson, Hugh Jackman should play him! Just watch Rock with a beard!

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0055100/

There’s something intriguing about the story of The Surprise. It’s about a suicidal millionaire who decides to use a specialized company to make an end to his miserable life after several attempts have failed. He choses the option of a surprise, meaning death can come anytime and anywhere. During his visit of the company he encounters a younger woman who’s in a similar situation. And soon they start to bond. So much so that he ultimately doesn’t want to die anymore and wants to cancel the arrangement. But that’s impossible according to the sign contract.

The intriguing bit is that you hear certain characters talk about suicide and death in a very casual way. That’s refreshing. It’s also comical at times. In fact, the movie starts as a dark comedy and is filled with great surprises (the set locations for instance or the conversations in Hindi), but the slightly pervers and absurd humor is replaced by action, romance and drama halfway through the movie. So it all becomes less intriguing.

 

If Wes Anderson would have made it or if the Arnacoeur duo Vanessa Paradis/Romain Duris would have starred, this could have been an international success. Now it didn’t even get a release in Belgium, where most of the scenes were filmed. Sad.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3409440

The Rewrite – *1/2

Posted: May 24, 2015 in 2014, Dramedy, romcom, USA, X1/2

A once successful Oscar-winning screenwriter has lost his talent to produce stories that studios want to produce. He doesn’t even get re-write jobs. Money is running out and he reluctantly takes a job at a college in upstate New York where he will give a screen writing class.

Even before you start watching The Rewrite you know it is not going to be a memorable movie. It stars Hugh Grant and it’s about a loser who needs to pick up his life again somewhere else. Sometimes there are reasons why this last line sounds appealing. And sometimes you just want to enjoy light entertainment.

Hugh Grant is Hugh Grant. The man will never be someone else. The only movie in which he’s really good at being himself is About A Boy, because he’s more of a second fiddle to the teenager. Unfortunately here, there are no interesting supporting characters. The students in his class are very stereotypical, just like his colleagues. Not even the charming Marisa Tomei can save this story from being about nothing. Maybe that would have been a better title: About Nothing. 

A movie about a scriptwriting teacher that has a tedious script isn’t even ironic.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2509850/

Top Five – *(*)

Posted: May 14, 2015 in 2014, Comedy, romcom, USA, X1/2

Andre Allen is a former stand up comedian who has lost his love for comedy. His silly blockbuster trilogy (about a cop dressed like a bear) may be successful with the audience, but brings out the worst in the movie critic of the New York Times. That same newspaper sends a female reporter to follow the comedian during an important weekend in his life. He is releasing his first ‘serious’ movie about the uprise in Haiti (which is a flop in the waiting) and he’s about to get married to a reality tv star, who seems more bothered with pleasing the tv network than her future husband. Of course the two bond !

Not sure why this movie got such rave reviews. It’s not half as funny as it wants to be. There are some clever jokes (the password for the cell phone) and some hilariously absurd WTF scenes (DMX singing in prison), but a lot of the story is vulgar; cheap and redundant. The story is predictable and the ‘acting’ feels more like improv. Chris Rock must be able to do better creating his own version of a Richard Linklater-like chance encounter story.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2784678/