Archives for posts with tag: romantic comedies

Not everybody loves Drew Barrymore, but I’m quite fond of her. Meanwhile, Hugh Grant has done so many rom-coms he could make asking Alexa for the weather forecast sound like he’s about to pop the question. So why do Barrymore and Grant spend most of “Music and Lyrics” (2007) generating such little chemistry? The story of a washed-up pop star and a frustrated writer haphazardly thrown together to hurriedly dash off a song for a current pop star comes off as, well, haphazard, hurriedly thrown together and dashed off (their age difference doesn’t help). Rom-com conventions rescue the ending – barely.

If there was ever a role that seemed to have been created just for Susan Sarandon, it’s that of Nora Baker in “White Palace” (1990). You see, the thing about Sarandon is that both you and she know there’s plenty of women more beautiful than her, but her attractiveness strikes at a visceral level that you can’t understand or resist. So having her play a redneck St. Louis waitress to James Spader’s uptight Jewish yuppie is a no-brainer. Unfortunately, this rom-com lacks in com and while it presents interesting questions about class and privilege, the answer is clumsy and derivative.

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).