Archives for posts with tag: romantic comedies

It’s kind of interesting watching a film try to do an autopsy on itself while the body’s still moving. That’s what you get with “Someone Like You” (2001), a rom-com starring Hugh Jackman, Ashley Judd and a strong supporting cast (including Marisa Tomei as the wacky BFF). Judd, perennially jilted, decides to take a scientific approach, deconstructing men’s romantic misbehavior (they’re cows with a hard-wired aversion to monogamy). Pre-Google mistaken identity hijinks ensue. Meanwhile, we’re all sitting there knowing she’s going to hook up with frenemy Jackman in the end (don’t act like I spoiled it – you knew it, too).

Editor’s note: This is part of a series of posts that highlight storytelling techniques repeatedly recycled in film. I’ll post a link to these within some of my reviews in order to save words and keep from driving myself crazy writing the same thing over and over.

Frequently used in romantic movies, particularly teen films. The film’s star pretends to be something they’re not (rich if they’re poor, nerdy if they’re cool, sometimes hiding their race or sex, etc.). Either they’re doing it to impress a love interest or they meet cute with the love interest while masquerading for some other reason. The plan works until the masquerader is eventually exposed, to the disappointment of the love interest. From there, the film typically engineers a way for the masquerader and love interest to patch things up, with the masquerader having learned a little something about themselves (aww).

If you like rom-coms, how about a rom-dram? Broken people are brought to a Texas farm to search for their missing pieces in “The Lost Husband” (2020). While the b-list, TV-ish stars (Leslie Bibb, Josh Duhamel) and a key plotline (widowed, suburban mom is thrown together with hunky, divorced farmhand) would seem ripe for the standard hijinks, the laughs are muffled by layers of mourning, secrets, dysfunction and mournful secrets about secret dysfunction. Ready to cry yet? Don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of opportunities. Pleasant surprise: ex-SNLer Nora Dunn holds the story together in a controlled performance as Bibb’s aunt.