Here’s a look at Lovefilm’s selection of comedies, mostly the more romantic ones.
Hope Springs (2012)
A good film will take you straight to the point, you should be able to discern the central character(s) wants/needs/goals etc. You shouldn’t have to spend 40/45 minutes trying to work out what the film is going to be about and who the characters are, taking ages to get to that critical realisation.
Hope Springs manages to establish most of what you need to know in the first two minutes. It opens with Meryl Streep’s (The Devil Wears Prada, Mamma Mia) character Kay dolling herself up, knocking on husband Arnold’s (Tommy Lee Jones - The Client, Men In Black Trilogy) bedroom door and trying to see if he wants to have sex. And yes, I did just say her husband’s door because it is clear they haven’t slept in the same room in years nor have they had sex. You can see that Kay is lonely and Arnold is very set in his ways; if he is lonely, he’s better at hiding it.
Essentially Kay decides to do something about it and finds out about an intensive counselling week in Maine, ran by author of a self-help marriage fixing book Dr Feld (Steve Carell - The 40 Year Old Virgin, Evan Almighty). It’s an emotional film, which any good rom com should be, you should be able to laugh with the characters and cry with them. This film definitely delivers, I would say it was the perfect watch; I really enjoyed it.
The Big Wedding (2013)
A cast full of my favourite people: Diane Keaton (Because I Said So, The First Wives Club), Robert De Niro (Analyse This, Meet The Parents), Katherine Heigl (Life As We Know It, The Ugly Truth), Susan Sarandon (Thelma & Louise, Stepmom) and Robin Williams (Mrs Doubtfire, Jumanji)… not to mention some nice eye candy in Topher Grace (Spiderman 3, Mona Lisa Smile).
It focuses on the whole family and is one of those movies that, because there are a lot of characters, there’s only so much we get to see of each but it still works really well.
Naturally the central plot revolves around the wedding of De Niro and Keaton’s adopted son Alejandro (Ben Barnes - Dorian Grey) to Missy (played by Amanda Seyfried - Mamma Mia). It’s the wedding that brings the whole family together despite Keaton and De Niro having not seen each other in years and De Niro now being in a long term relationship with Sarandon.
Of course with a family comedy there must be some awkwardness somewhere right? Try having Alejandro’s mother coming in for the wedding and thinking that Keaton and De Niro are still married because her values do not condone/acknowledge the concept of divorce. This is really a great film with a nice ending and a nice story the whole way through. It has good dynamics between characters and is entertaining… though I was amazed at the foul mouthed Diane Keaton. No complaints though, definitely different for her.
An original film that poses the question: if there was a clock that counts down to the moment you meet your soulmate… would you want to know?
One of those films that has the difficult job of setting up a world that on the surface may seem like ours, but there are key differences and rules that apply. This is what makes the film engaging.
If anyone remembers Anya from Buffy The Vampire Slayer, then you’ll love Emma Caulfield shining through as the lead character Oona here… And if you have taste you’ll appreciate John Patrick Amedori as her young love interest.
Very funny, clever and charming.
9/10. Do watch!
Suburban Girl (2007)
Speaking of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, here’s Sarah Michelle Gellar and Alec Baldwin in a charming workplace romantic comedy drama about a girl trying to get ahead in the world of publishing, that finds herself smitten with an older man.
A truly great film, quirky and well written, perhaps not as funny as the others I have mentioned but worthwhile all the same.
I would recommend this to anyone who can appreciate a good story about finding your identity and maintaining independence.
8/10. Give it a go if you liked films like Morning Glory (2010) or The Devil Wears Prada (2006).
I hope you enjoy these titles.