April 30, 2010 4 Comments
Is it me or have the majority of romantic comedies that have been delivered to us from the Hollywood womb in recent years just totally sucked? The litany of these 100% formulaic, predictable, and pathetic films have just made me angry, distressed, and quite frankly, bored out of my skull. How many more of these movies starring Jennifer Lopez, Katherine Heigl, Kate Hudson, Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Aniston and others like them must be released before this mediocrity stops?! And why does Hollywood continue to greenlight and crank out this mindless drivel? Hollywood though is only partially to blame here. I point the real blame at the movie-going public — the drones who go out to see this nonsense. Let’s face it — Hollywood producers would stop making them if you just stopped seeing them. A movie doesn’t make money, they won’t make another. Five, ten, fifteen of these types of films flop at the box-office, and that sends a wake-up call to Hollywood — WE ARE BEING INSULTED…WE WON’T PAY OUR $10 TO SEE THIS STUPIDITY.
I don’t even have to see “The Backup Plan” (Jennifer Lopez’s latest cinematic triumph) to tell you what happens after seeing the trailer or reading the simple synopsis. As of this posting, the film has only generated $15 million domestic which is not very impressive at all. So two things here: (1) Thank God and (2) Shame on any of you who actually went out to support this crap! And is Gerald Butler the new poster boy for co-starring in these moronic films? What does he have to offer to film except for perhaps being eye-candy to much of the female demographic. Jennifer Aniston – you made “Management” which was a wonderfully original romantic comedy. “The Bounty Hunter“???!!! Come on! You can be so much better than that! This film also did not fare well at the box-office…so maybe America is starting to wake-up and demand a more intelligent type of romantic comedy. And Katherine Heigl – it seems to me that these kind of films is all she is really good for – and not much else. This example is more bizarre than Butler because she is not eye-candy at all. I swear if I saw another promo for “The Ugly Truth” I was going to lose it! Didn’t see it — but I bet the remainder of my car payments that I can tell you how it ended!
Sandra Bullock has made a ton of this junk (see: “All About Steve,” “The Proposal,” “The Lakehouse“) and she goes out and steals an undeserved Oscar win simply because she publically declared that she was tired of making these train wrecks. She was very good in “The Blind Side” and that was it…nothing more people.
What also bothers me about these asinine films (on top of the horrid, horrid screenplays) is that we are not paying to watch acting at all. We are paying to watch Aniston do her cute, ditsy stammering (she’s been in over 10 films of this genre), and Hugh Grant do his awkward, British, pardon-me schtick (“Music and Lyrics”???….Really??!!), and so on. Hollywood just casts two mega-popular celebrities (careful not to say ‘actors’) from the covers of supermarket tabloids, gives them a story as thin as Heidi Klum and markets the shit out of it. These people are merely playing themselves, but with different names, different lines to say, different costumes and different love interests — we are paying for pop culture personalities…not actors at the height of their craft.
It isn’t that charming, clever, sweet romantic comedies aren’t being made…they are just harder to find. Look at last year’s unique “(500) Days of Summer.” A wonderful independent film that made a respectable $32 million domestic. That’s not bad. A positive step. More recent examples of strong romantic-comedies that sweep the viewers off their feet without insulting us are: “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” “Ghost Town,” “You Kill Me,” “50 First Dates” (yes, with Adam Sandler…a very clever premise actually; and I know Barrymore is in it, but if I enjoy it, I can’t dismiss it), “High Fidelity” and “Lars and the Real Girl” — all movies with heart, humor and brains.
So keep it up movie-goers! Continue to put your foots down and stop seeing piss-poor movies masquerading as romantic comedies. Demand more for your entertainment buck. When a film like “Valentine’s Day” grosses over $110 million at the box-office though, I am convinced that there is still much work to be done. Just the trailer made me throw up a little in my mouth. What does Patrick Dempsey really have to offer us, except, “Oh, I love that guy from Grey’s Anatomy…” Keep him there! That’s what television is for….there lies all the mindless entertainment you could ever want….the sole reason I don’t watch a single sitcom, reality show, serial drama or primetime soap. I’d like to think the movie-going public is better than that. But I’m not holding my breath.