Tag Archives: romantic comedies

Midnight in Paris

In this charming romantic comedy, legendary director Woody Allen focuses his lens on an engaged young couple whose experiences traveling together in Paris make them begin to question the kind of life they want to live.

Rating: 8 out of 10

There are few scribes like Woody Allen. And while you can point to his typical formula in this film — his constant scratching at the subject of love and finding happiness — there is a wealth of imagination and creativity. He certainly hasn’t lost his touch.

Allen wrangles an immensely talented cast with a script that weaves time travel, humor, romance, and beautiful cinematography of Paris. It’s absolutely sublime.  Owen Wilson plays a typical Allen character, a writer in a relationship he’s not really satisfied with in search of a deeper existence. Rachel McAdams plays his fiancee, a tart who doesn’t really like Wilson’s artsy, eyes-open-wide view of the world. At midnight, Wilson takes a stroll and is somehow transported back to the ’30s. While he’s there, he meets the legends of the time in writing and music, along with Adriana, a flapper girl played by the enchanting Marion Cotillard.

What follows is a series of Wilson popping back and forth between decades, trying to figure out his relationship, pursue Adriana, all while working on a novel and dealing with his crazy, annoying future in-laws. And in the background, that constant yearning for a greater, more meaningful life. This is a wonderful script by Allen, who won the Academy Award for his efforts. “Midnight in Paris” stands tall in Allen’s collection of incredible films.

Crazy, Stupid, Love.

When Cal Weaver (Steve Carell) discovers that his wife (Julianne Moore) wants to end their marriage, he reluctantly faces the unwelcome prospect of single life with the counsel of the younger and smoother super-bachelor Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling). Meanwhile, Cal’s adolescent son, Robbie (Jonah Bobo), has formed an unquenchable crush on his 17-year-old babysitter (Analeigh Tipton) — but is she more interested in Robbie’s recently unwed father?

Rating: 8 out of 10

It was nice to see a romantic comedy with a new voice. This isn’t quite like the trailers depict, a cheery-the-time flick with lots of laughs and likeable characters.

The truth is, these characters are very flawed, which makes them feel more real. They’re more relatable and approachable, and because of this, we relate. There are some genuinely funny moments, but there are also some truly dramatic moments, too. Like any romantic comedy, the reality in the movie is a stretch, but in this case it works. The womanizer, played well by Gosling, is so over the top with his gigolo ways. But it works because of his great performance — comedy is something he doens’t do much. Steve Carell and Julianne Moore are also both excellent. The cast really makes this movie work.

I really enjoyed this far beyond what I thought I would. It doesn’t pull punches with a sense of drama that is based in reality, but knows when to stretch with its comedy. This is a very good date movie.


Indie favorites Jay and Mark Duplass co-direct this wry look at modern love and family dysfunction. John C. Reilly plays a divorced man who thinks he’s found just the right woman (Marisa Tomei) to help him recover and move on. Unfortunately, the woman’s son, played by Jonah Hill, has no interest in allowing another man into their lives — a stance he proceeds to demonstrate in a variety of obnoxious ways.

Rating: 7 out of 10

This is a movie that works because of the excellent cast, directing, and a smart script that is patient and respectful of its audience.

“Cyrus” has the potential to be a silly movie about the adult son of a single mother who torments his mother’s new boyfriend with ridiculous stunts that make you uncomfortable to watch. Certainly, there are uncomfortable moments, but it’s because they feel like you could know insane people like this. The film’s characters react with emotion, and there is some drama that gives it a backbone  that set a foundation of reality.

This film may not be what many hope it is, and I think that’s a virtue.


Recasting the 1981 comedy classic starring Dudley Moore, this romantic chuckler chronicles the dilemma faced by philanderer Arthur Bach (Russell Brand) — whether to give up a respectable life and an inheritance of millions for the sake of romance. Jennifer Garner co-stars as Susan Johnson, the gorgeous socialite that Arthur’s family has chosen for him. Greta Gerwig plays Naomi, the girl who steals Arthur’s heart in the meantime.

Rating: 7 out of 10

I can’t imagine a world where if I was a poor woman scraping money together to pay for a one bedroom apartment in Queens where I lived with my sick father, and a billionaire offered me a million dollars as a “sorry I lied to you,” and I wouldn’t take it. I know we’re all supposed to pretend we are above money and that integrity is more important, but come on.

This wasn’t the only false part of the Russell Brand reboot of “Arthur,” but I have to admit, I didn’t hate it like I thought I was going to. It is too sad to really be a comedy and too silly to really be a drama, but I found Brand and his nanny, played by Helen Mirren, to be a great team and enjoyed his antics and seeing some beautiful New York scenery.

I saw the original Dudley Moore version but I was a kid and don’t really remember it — actually maybe I only saw part two. Either way, I did think a few times that Brand was trying to imitate Moore, but then I found out that they are from the same area of England. So maybe they just sound the same when they are pretending to be drunk.

How Do You Know

Feeling spurned after being cut from the national team due to her age, newly single softball player Lisa (Reese Witherspoon) finds herself in the middle of a heated love triangle, as a professional baseball player (Owen Wilson) and a business executive (Paul Rudd) compete for her affections. Jack Nicholson co-stars in this athletically minded romantic comedy from acclaimed writer-director James L. Brooks (As Good As It Gets).

Rating: 5 out of 10

“How Do You Know” has a few unfortunate pitfalls. It’s billed as a comedy and the actors are usually comedic, so obviously you go in thinking it’ll be funny. But it’s really more of a drama with humorous moments. I still liked it, though. It’s probably a little too long, and maybe they go into each story a little too much. I think that’s the problem with stories like this. There are three leads (plus Jack Nicholson!) and way too much going on. It could have been a television show.

To turn this back into a comedy I think it mostly needed focus and editing. The Owen Wilson character, although funny, could have been cut out altogether, or at least made to be more of a sidenote. And Reese Witherspoon, who plays an aging (31) women’s softball player who’s about to get cut from the team, could have been fired in scene one instead of dragging it out.

The actors are still really good, especially the scenes with Paul Rudd and Jack Nicholson.

Five Movies to Snuggle Up to on Valentine’s Day


This is not my list of the best romantic films of all times. This is simply a list of some great romantic movies for you and a loved one to snuggle up to with a big bowl of buttery popcorn and watch on a chilly Saint Valentine’s Day evening. Here’s hoping you have a romantic day full of love!

Say Anything: This is one of the best teen movies from the 80s, and it’s just a heart-warming, romantic story of the lovable loser who falls for the perfect girl — a valedictorian. Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack) and high school goody-goody Diane Court (Ione Skye) are threatened when Diane’s overly possessive, disapproving father (John Mahoney) interferes with their relationship. With a prized scholarship to study abroad hanging in the balance, Diane must find a way to make both men happy. Writer-director Cameron Crowe steers this 1980s teen flick into instant-classic territory. I highly recommend!

Amélie:This is one of the most darling films I have ever seen. If you don’t mind subtitles — as I’m sure many of you don’t — then this is a movie you may want to grab. It’s visually stunning with a truly unique director in Jean-Pierre Jeunet ( A Very Long Engagement), a fantastic romance story that unfolds in unusual and gripping ways, and it’s just pure fun. Definitely a winner.

A Very Long Engagement: This is another Jean-Pierre Jeunet film. What can I say? The guy makes great romantic films. Audrey Tautou stars as Mathilde, a young Frenchwoman who vows to find out what happened to her missing fiancé (Gaspard Ulliel) during World War I. He appears to have died after a court-martial, but she needs to know for sure. As she looks for the truth, she discovers unexpected things about herself and the people she meets along the way. It has some heart ache along the way, but what great love doesn’t?

Forest Gump: This is one of my favorite movies of all time. Most certainly in the top 25. It has everything you could want in a romantic film — a love that’s sparked from childhood that drives a character in everything he does through some of the most incredible experiences any man could have. There is nothing wrong with this movie. It’s simply flawless, and Forest’s innocence and love of someone who, on the surface, is beyond broken after so much tragedy befalls her, is touching. We all could learn to love like he does. It’s a wonderful movie, and a great choice for Valentine’s Day.

Slumdog Millionaire: I hadn’t seen this film when it won best picture. I’m always skeptical of films that become critic’s darlings and run away with all the trophies. This is not one of the best films I’ve ever seen, but it’s a fantastic date movie. It’s got a nice romantic plot with another character who endures incredibly terrible things all the while trying to find a long-lost love. I think it’s true that distance makes the heart grow fonder. Love isn’t worth having if it’s not worth fighting for.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Easy A

High school is the setting for this freewheeling comedic twist on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 19th-century novel The Scarlet Letter. Ambitious student Olive (Emma Stone) decides to boost her popularity by pretending to be the school slut. As the school’s swirling rumor mill increases both her notoriety and her finances, Olive enjoys her newfound status but eventually must decide which is more important: popularity or self-esteem.

Rating: 6 out of 10

I kept hearing this was actually pretty good and curiosity got the best of me. I was also curious if this was going to be another type of “Mean Girls.” Plus, I love funny, attractive women.

Emma Stone gave a pretty entertaining performance. She was very witty, smart and attractive. After reading some interviews and watching her at the Golden Globes, I think she seems like a very well rounded individual. I foresee a successful career for her in the future. Also, Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson were hilarious and great as Olive’s parents.

There are a several reasons why this was given a six. Reason one: The movie was much longer than it needed to be and didn’t need as many characters as it did. Reason Two: Unbelievable story. If there were emerging rumors about a girl sleeping around with lots of men, especially losers, you’d think people would start to realize “Okay, there’s no way that girl has slept with that many people.” Reason Three: A girl this smart, witty, attractive, and cool to be “unknown” to her high school cohorts doesn’t exist. Get rid of one of those traits and I will believe it. Last but not least is Reason Four: Amanda Bynes. She’s been type casted as the ‘funny girl’ her whole life and now in this film she was playing a religious bitch, which she did terribly. Her overacting gave me such a headache and I haven’t laughed at her since “All That.”


The Backup Plan

After years of dating, Zoe (Jennifer Lopez) has decided waiting for the right man is taking too long. Determined to become a mother, she decides to go it alone and get artificially inseminated. That same day, Zoe meets Stan (Alex O’Loughlin) a man she doesn’t like at first, but falls for after his persistent pursuit of her, but he doesn’t know she’s pregnant yet. Trying to nurture a budding relationship and hide the early signs of pregnancy becomes a comedy of errors for Zoe and creates confusing signals for Stan. The story’s focus happens after Zoe reveals to Stan that she’s pregnant and the real pregnancy test comes when both of them realize they really don’t know each other outside of hormonal chaos and birth preparations. With the nine month clock ticking, both begin to experience cold feet.

Rating 5 out of 10

You could do worse for a date movie. This is a romantic comedy that could make your sweet tooth fall out from decay, but there are enough funny moments to endure the bad.

I suppose corny monologues professing love are expected in romantic comedies, but there are a couple that made me gag. But Lopez is very likable in her role as a single woman in New York who hasn’t had much luck finding the right man. She’s got a good heart in the role, there’s good chemistry between she and O’Loughlin despite his wooden performance, and her comedic timing is nice.

The movie is highly predictable, sticky sweet, and often overly sentimental, following a tried and true arch for the genre. But, if you’re looking for a date movie she’ll enjoy and you want to avoid something with too many special effects and gratuitous nudity, this is a safe bate.