The Break-up Plan...I mean The Back-Up...I mean the Back-Up Plan...or another silly rom-com

I'm finally back with a new blog! That's what happens with the freedom that comes from being released from school and into summer. After all the finals, I needed to take somewhat of a breather from writing papers! So that's why I haven't really written anything yet. I wrote some pretty interesting papers for school though. One was comparing two M. Night Shyamalan films, Signs and The Happening and examining how one works and the other doesn't. The other one was a ten pager on the problems with the modern day romantic comedy. I wrote about all the generic crap Hollywood makes for women and came down pretty hard on them. [If y'all would like, I may even post some excerpts from the paper (and maybe the Shyamalan one too.)]

So along comes yet another generic romantic comedy featuring Jennifer Lopez (honestly the only movie I've ever really enjoyed that she was in was probably Monster-in-Law, and that is solely due to the comic talents of Jane Fonda.) I saw the previews..and I knew exactly what to expect. I read the reviews...I knew it was going to be terrible. But still...still I wanted to see it. One reviewer wrote: "Please, ladies, stay away or movies like this will never stop" Haha. And I knew it was true. But, I still went anyway and saw it this weekend...and I was unsurprised to find how awful it truly was. Still, as weird as it is, I like going to movies...all movies. I like the experience and I like being in the know...I like being able to form opinions.

That said, I still certainly crave the well-made ones, much more than the derivative fluff that comes out nowadays (I'm looking at you The Proposal and The Back-Up Plan) Good films last, and they satisfy :) When you can have something like (500) Days of Summer, why settle for less? Well I can promise you I'm not settling, just trying to stay informed. That's my excuse anyway. But, my answer for seeing the movie is simply because I like the experience of seeing movies...even if the only thing I get out of it is just to be able to rag on a product. Or maybe they're just my guilty pleasure...like good ice cream or something. That said, it pays to know when you're being indulgent.

I think what it comes down to though is that I just have a love-hate relationship with the romantic comedy. They are the easiest films for me to watch, yet they can be the most offensive with their ridiculous portrayals too. My brother Clayton says it all began with Sleepless in Seattle where after that point, nothing was too far fetched in terms of plot. This is true. The strength of (500) Days of Summer is that it doesn't examine some silly plot...it examines an actual relationship. There's no catch....it just shows us how a guy fell in love and dealt with all of the feelings that brought. I think more romantic comedies would be better if they focused on that.

As for the movie... Well, it was completely predictable, and not very funny at all. It also made me never want to become pregnant (far too much gross-out humor.) It relied very heavily on reaction shots from a tiny dog for laughs from the audience...so you always know that's a good sign (I hope the sarcasm is noted.) My roommate Laura remarked that it was just trying too hard the whole time. I would agree. I think what makes the run-of-the-mill rom-coms a bit better, is if the audience can buy the two characters together and their romance, and/or if the film is funny enough to compensate for the formula. But neither of these factors was present in The Back-Up Plan. I would probably have to give this about 1.5/4

However, there are some rom-com releases I'm looking forward to: Letters to Juliet - yes, this is probably going to be more of the same of what I'm complaining about.. but I like Amanda Seyfried. Also, I came across the trailer for a movie called TiMER on apple's trailer page. It sounds fascinating to me, and I think it's got a lot of potential (along the lines of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.) Here's the synopsis:

What if a clock could count down to the moment you meet your soul mate? In this alternate version of present day Los Angeles, a revolutionary device called the TiMER fulfills this very fantasy. For a reasonable installation fee and a moderate monthly charge, a TiMER is implanted in the wrist and promises to accurately display the number of days, hours, minutes and seconds until the owner’s date with destiny. However, things aren’t so easy for Oona O’Leary (EMMA CAULFIELD, Buffy the Vampire Slayer). Oona faces the rare dilemma of a blank TiMER; her soul mate—whoever and wherever he is—doesn’t have a TiMER. While her family and friends move through life with predetermined romantic fates, Oona searches for her perfect match via the process of elimination, tentatively dating TiMER—less men, but never getting emotionally invested. Often, Oona even convinces her suitors to get TiMERs, only to have her hopes crushed time and time again. Staring down the barrel of thirty and tired of waiting for her would—be life partner to get off the dime, Oona breaks her own rules and falls for Mikey (JOHN PATRICK AMEDORI, Gossip Girl), a charming and inappropriately young supermarket clerk with a countdown of four months. But what will happen when those four months are up? Only when Oona ignores the ticking clock can she finally experience the exhilarating and unpredictable hot mess that is love.

The link to the trailer is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ug3UjEhkpg8
Here's hoping it's good!. Also...this entire post made me remember, that I wanted to do a post on When Harry Met Sally...so I gotta do that.


Joey said...

I really don't like sitting through a bad movie. I love a good movie and can handle okay movies; but if it's bad, I just feel that I have wasted my time. When you find a good movie, that worth thinking about or talking about for days, that's the ultimate cool.

And as far as rom-coms, I've found that I really like stumbling upon older rom-coms that are better written than sitting through a bad current one.

Just in the last two weeks I have seen "Hobson's Choice" and "Quality Street" which I loved!!!! They were real finds.

Laurie & Clint said...

i love bad movies! so much!

Emily said...

Haha! I know you do! I think it might be right up your alley!

Sarah said...

It depends on the bad movie. Some movies are so bad, they're funny. Those ones are fun to watch. But some are just painfully boring. Those ones...I can't handle.

I don't think I've liked one of Jennifer Lopez' movies...except Gigli (JUST KIDDING!).

I agree that I enjoy older romantic comedies more than what is churned out now-a-days. Because they couldn't rely on sex the way movies do now, they had to be a lot more witty, creative, funny, and...well...romantic!