Posts Tagged ‘romantic movies’

I’d heard mixed things about Playing for Keeps (2012), some of which was that it didn’t fit the rom-com model.  As a writer, I thought I’d analyze the film, see what worked and what didn’t.

What worked:  Cute scruffy leading man Gerald Butler with a charming Scottish accent.  Good looking other actors.  Poor Jessica Biel looked worn out for the first half of the film, but her hair improved as it went along.

What didn’t work:  Dennis Quaid‘s villanous character.  His part seemed more zany than anyone else, so tone-wise it was jarring.

And now for some SPOILERS.

SPOILERS:  I didn’t like the hero sleeping with two of the soccer moms and turning down a third, who was married which is supposed to show that he has some moral limits.  All these events were played for laughs, but I didn’t find it funny.  Granted, he’s divorced, but the women looked pathetic or conniving and I couldn’t decide if he was stupid, an opportunist, or just too  polite to say no.

At this point in the film, I start rooting for the bland, good-looking guy that the ex-wife is going to marry.  I think,”Will Hollywood really let the hero not get the girl?  Maybe hero will wise up and ride off in the distance letting ex-wife be happy with her good guy.  Like in My Best Friend’s Wedding.”

But of course, that didn’t happen.  I can see why the film got the mixed reviews.  Some of it plays like a bedroom farce, and then there are scenes that are supposed to be emotional and meaningful.

That’s what surprised me.  Just when I was going to write the whole film off as a mess, there was one good conversation between hero and ex-wife.  For a moment, I had sympathy for the ex-wife and could understand why she might take this scruffy guy back.

Which made me very conflicted.  Am I supposed to be okay with them staying in town with the other women hanging around on the periphery of their life?  Ick. That’s not romantic.  

And do I think that this man will remain completely faithful?  Sad to say, the odds aren’t good, and his track record stinks.  In his favor, he wants to change and he is the father of her child.  It’s a decision I would never want to make.  I believe that people deserve second chances and I believe that people can change.  However, I worry that this hero will need a ton of second chances.

So, will I watch it again?  No.  Will I recommend it?  No, it’s more sad than sweet.

But there were a few good minutes that made me think.   And now I’m going to spend some time figuring out what I would have done differently to make a more satisfying story. 

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It’s another Friday night after a long week of work, there’s a pile of dishes in my sink, and I’d really like to escape into a good movie.

What kind of movie?  A romance, of course.  Sweet, meaning no steamy love scenes  that will embarrass me if my teenager or MIL walked into the room.

And old enough that I can watch it on Netflix, Amazon prime, from Redbox or borrowed from the library dvd collection.  As much as I like going to the movie theater, I have to fit most of my entertainment around my other housely duties.  And I like being able to pause a movie if I have to use the bathroom or answer a vital teenage question.

Comedies are fine, if they aren’t sprinkled with tons of f-bombs and bathroom humor.  I also like drama and adventure (as long as there is some romance).  I will even take sad, although I prefer happily ever after.

Some of the movies I’ve seen recently?

The Vow (2012).  I’m a sucker for amnesia stories.  And Rachel McAdams is a great crier, isn’t she?  I don’t remember much of this movie, but I thought it was fun when Rachel’s character is drawing sculptures during her law school classes.  Reminds me of someone who was plotting Regency novels during Tax II.


Cover of "Housesitter"

Cover of Housesitter

The Housesitter (1992).  Somehow I never saw this when it came out.  A few bits annoyed me, but Goldie Hawn and Steve Martin were cute together.  I particularly liked Donald Moffat who played Steve Martin’s father.


So, who has a movie suggestion for me?

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Merry Christmas.  Here are two movies that I adore that include Christmas and New Years Eve:

I’ve mentioned these two movies before, so  I’ll write just a few highlights.  Some SPOILERS.

Promotional photo of Ginger Rogers for Argenti...

Promotional photo of Ginger Rogers for Argentinean Magazine. (Printed in USA) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bachelor Mother with Ginger Rogers and David Niven.  Savvy but starving heroine adopts a baby because everyone thinks it’s hers.  I’d love to see a remake, but with today’s DNA testing, etc., it wouldn’t happen.  I like the hero buying the heroine some beautiful clothes and taking her to the New Years Eve Party.  He’s not quite Prince Charming, and he doesn’t completely appreciate  her until the end, but it’s a fun ride.

I think the landlady who takes care of Ginger’s new baby is sweet and quirky, and I like her college student son.  I love  Charles Coburn  who plays David Niven’s rich, businessman father.  He is also charming as a match maker in The More the Merrier.  The only thing I don’t like in this movie is Ginger’s hair, which is a little too Jean Harlow for me, but it was popular at the time.   Everything else is wonderful.

While You Were Sleeping

While You Were Sleeping (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While You Were Sleeping with Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman.


One of the more recent romantic comedies that gets it right:  sympathetic, interesting characters who find themselves in a weird, funny situation and end up happily ever after.

Bill Pullman plays an honorable guy who is quietly funny and romantic.

It’s one movie I wish I had written.

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