Archives for posts with tag: romantic comedies

Everything tends to sound better with a British accent. Even romantic comedies. If you look too closely, you’ll see that “Man Up” (2015) follows every predictable twist and turn on the road to Screwball Romcom City like a Google map. Meet cute, check. Someone’s keeping something from somebody, check. The break up, check. Big speeches at the end, check. But you don’t look too closely because – ohmygod, cool accents! And Simon Pegg sprinkles in some of his comic deviancy. And Lake Bell brings that exasperated-by-life, Gen Xer Lakebellicosity that makes her so uniquely enjoyable. And even she has an accent!

The scenery-eating pestilence that is Kate McKinnon absolutely ruined “Yesterday” (2019). That’s too bad, because the premise of a struggling busker suddenly waking up in a world where seemingly only he knows the works of The Beatles is brilliant. The “Masquerade” plot structure is deployed skillfully as the busker struggles to have his false voice heard, then rockets to stardom. The climax is clever and the story amazingly finds additional poignant twists as it parachutes to its conclusion. Except someone thought McKinnon would provide (unneeded) comic relief as a record exec. Her character’s existence is an unwanted irony unto itself.

It’s interesting when a star makes the leap to producer/writer/director. Katie Holmes doubled down on the challenge by making her three-way a pandemic rom-com. She deserves credit for taking a jab at territory most filmmakers remain hesitant to touch, but “Alone Together” (2022) feels a little forced. The setup makes perfect rom-com sense: while escaping New York at the outset of the pandemic, an Upper West Side writer (of course) and a recently jilted blue-collar dude end up at a double-booked Airbnb in the middle of nowhere. Alas, not enough romantic tension, plus pandemic deaths put a damper on hijinks.