Sleepless in Seattle (1993)

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Sleepless in Seattle Movie Review

Sleepless in Seattle is a 1993 romantic comedy film directed by Nora Ephron and starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. It’s a solid chick flick.

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Destiny is something we’ve invented because we can’t stand

the fact that everything that happens is accidental

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Sleepless in Seattle Movie Review

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Full disclosure – I do not like romantic comedies and chick flicks. They just do not appeal to me and I have a big problem with their clichéd storylines and stereotypical characters. And although this one also has those problems, it is still better than most romantic comedies and I liked it overall more than I disliked it.

So the story is definitely implausible, unrealistic and sometimes even ridiculous (a kid going on a plane alone and being allowed to do that took me out of it completely). Still, there is no denying the charm that this film possesses as it’s a very charming flick with a couple of irresistibly endearing sequences.

Tom Hanks is reliably good in the role of Sam Baldwin. He is a bit too good-natured, but then again this actor is best suited for such roles and here he excelled at playing him. Meg Ryan as Annie actually stole the show here from Hanks. I’m not the biggest fan of hers, but I could not deny how endlessly charming, quirky and lovable she is in this film. She definitely helped the film a lot with her sweet presence.

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Sleepless in Seattle Movie Review

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Walter is a typical character and I really disliked that subplot as it was so cliched. They should have gotten rid of him and the movie would have been much better. Jonah is okay, but somewhat annoying at times. I liked the father-son relationship and it was very well realized. Rosie O’Donell is often quite amusing as her funny friend.

Sleepless in Seattle has a very good, but too on-the-nose soundtrack. I liked most of the songs they used with the highlights being Back in the Saddle Again and As Time Goes By. However, they literally accompanied the action on screen in the most unsubtle manner possible that it got very distracting pretty quickly.

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Sleepless in Seattle Movie Review

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The movie is definitely well paced and quite entertaining to watch. Nora Ephron’s direction is weak, but the acting is very strong across the board and actually some of the dialogue is stupendous. The humor is very strong and some lines are admittedly very funny. I just found its plot overly implausible and the genders are so stereotyped here with the women crying over romantic films being very annoying. ‘An Affair to Remember’ is used really well in the context of this film and both movies are of similar quality when I think about it.

Sleepless in Seattle is a typical 90s romantic comedy, but a solid one which is actually better than most others. Tom Hanks is reliably good, but it is Meg Ryan who stole the show here as she’s very charming and incredibly endearing. The film definitely has its charm, some scenes are quite sweet and the humor is solid. However, the soundtrack, though fine, is distractingly on-the-nose, some scenes are quite ridiculous, the ending is typically contrived, the overall storyline is very implausible and most of the characters are stereotypical.

My Rating – 3.5

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Get Out Your Handkerchiefs (1978)

Get Out Your Handkerchiefs Movie Review

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Get Out Your Handkerchiefs Movie Review

Get Out Your Handkerchiefs is a 1978 French romantic comedy which won an Oscar. It is such a frustrating, often repulsive viewing experience.

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Do you want my wife?

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Get Out Your Handkerchiefs Movie Review

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The film deals with ménage a trois as two men share a woman together. This subject matter is nothing new as ‘Design for Living’ did it much better decades ago. The problem with this film is that it is very sexist. It portrays its female character in such a horrible misogynistic manner as she is half-naked all the time and not only that but also underdeveloped and we never really learn why she is so depressed. A terribly written character.

Not that the other two are better written, not by a long shot. The two men are certainly better developed, but they are still non-entities and we never really realize why they are so obsessed with her and what is their experience from all of this in a bigger scope. The acting is fine, but the characterization is very bad.

Honestly Get Out Your Handkerchiefs started off promisingly. The beginning is abrupt, but at least somewhat amusing and even funny in its bizarre situation and interesting reactions. However, that was all thrown away pretty quickly when the film started objectifying the girl.

However, that is not even the worst offender here. The third act is honestly the worst one. There we get introduced to one 13-year-old boy who is curious about her body and that scene was very uncomfortable to watch. But she ended up in a relationship with the boy who is underage and that was just disgusting to witness.

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Get Out Your Handkerchiefs Movie Review

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There is no denying that the biggest problem of this ridiculous romantic comedy is just that – it is ridiculous. What was the point here? Did the three learn anything? Not at all. What is the point with her dating an underage boy? Did she learn anything? No! There is honestly no point to this film which is why it was such a waste of time. The fact that it won an Oscar is baffling to me.

The fact that Get Out Your Handkerchiefs won an Oscar is beyond my comprehension. It started off solidly – abruptly but somewhat amusingly. But it quickly went downhill when you witness the terrible writing and endless objectification of its main female character. Rarely have I seen a more misogynistic film than this one and it was truly horrible to witness. But its third act is even worse and even more repulsive in that uncomfortable relationship. Ultimately the biggest problem here is that none of the characters learn anything and the entire movie was thus a waste of time and an entirely pointless affair.

My Rating – 2.5

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The Trouble with Harry (1955)

The Trouble with Harry Movie Review

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The Trouble with Harry Movie Review

The Trouble with Harry is a 1955 romantic comedy mystery film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Edmund Gwenn and Shirley MacLaine. It is a pretty good, original flick.

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He looked exactly the same when he was alive,

only he was vertical

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The Trouble with Harry Movie Review

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Yes, this one is quite probably the most authentic, most atypical Hitchcock outing as he has never really made a film quite like this one. It is at its core a romantic comedy. Yes, not just a comedy but a romantic one as well. And the fact that there exists a Hitchcock romantic comedy just made my day.

So the film is about a hunter in a village who finds a dead body in the forest and then three more people join him in the guessing game of who killed him, but eventually the four people turn into two pairs of romantic couples. So it is not a thriller, but it definitely is a mystery as we do not know at first what really happened. I thought that the film succeeded in both mystery and romantic comedy departments as the mystery is involving and the film is quite charming and funny.

Edmund Gwenn gave such a strong performance in the lead role. He is the most endearing and likable character of the bunch here and I loved him. John Forsythe is the weakest link not only in terms of acting, but also when it comes to the character himself who is just not as interesting as the rest.

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The Trouble with Harry Movie Review

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I loved Shirley MacLaine who here made a terrific screen debut. A great character and a very strong performance. But Mildred Natwick should not be forgotten as she also acted so well here and this old lady character is very funny in her odd behavior and demeanor.

The Trouble with Harry is not a great film. The pacing is definitely very slow and it takes its time to get there owing to a slow start plus some of the scenes in the third act weren’t as interesting as the rest. I thought that the film needed less music and much more dialogue to pull off its character-driven, humorous approach, but it still succeeds as a pretty original film.

To me the highlight is the relationship between Captain Wiles and Miss Gravely. The two are such a charming, odd and ultimately endearing old couple and I loved how they interacted together. That was the most emotionally resonant and best developed part of the film. Some of the lines are quite funny here and the dialogue is truly terrific, not to mention very honest too, surprisingly so for the fifties. Some of the lines are quite brave when you think about them.

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The Trouble with Harry Movie Review

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So the film is definitely not hilarious, but it is quite funny in a couple of scenes and I found its subtle humor really pleasant and very clever. What Hitchcock set out to make is a quirky little comedy and he mostly achieved what he wanted to do.

The film is gorgeously shot, absolutely lovely to look at. The leaves, the forest, the houses and the people – everything is so well shot, depicted and it transports you to its small village so successfully. The country mood is so palpable and I loved its leisurely, elegant approach at filmmaking. I also found its score terrific and frequently highly beautiful.

The Trouble with Harry is somewhat slow in some parts and far from hilarious, but still quite funny in a couple of scenes and its subtle, quirky humor is mostly quite good. Edmund Gwenn is the highlight and Shirley MacLaine is excellent in her film debut. The film is gorgeously shot and evocative in its country mood plus the score is beautiful and elegant. The characters are weird and charming, the story is very interesting and the film succeeds as a very eccentric romantic comedy mystery. It’s by far Hitchcock’s most atypical effort.

My Rating – 4

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The Big Sick (2017)

The Big Sick Movie Review

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The Big Sick Movie Review

The Big Sick is a 2017 romantic comedy drama film directed by Michael Showalter and starring Kumail Nanjiani. It is a hugely overrated movie.

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For your files. Your X-Files.

That’s your favorite show, huh?

The truth is out there!

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The Big Sick Movie Review

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In this world obsessed with political correctness, of course a movie about the relationship between a Pakistani man and an American woman is going to receive acclaim. But this was in concept basically ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’, just less comedic and more dramatic in tone. So it isn’t particularly original and although I am honestly quite interested in this subject matter, it was unfortunately not well utilized at all. Let’s just say that this isn’t ‘Ali: Fear Eats the Soul’.

The Big Sick has its moving parts and it also has a pretty observational approach in dialogue and script as at times it really understands this issue and the speech that Kumail gives to his parents was spot-on. It is a delicate subject and it was mostly dealt with smartly and subtly.

However, the movie was a slog to sit through. It wasn’t dull per say, but it was unnecessarily long. Two hours was surely not needed for this very simple story. The movie should have been simpler in the plot, runtime and its number of characters.

Speaking of characters, Kumail Nanjiani is a pretty good actor, but I am just not a fan of him. I liked his character though and I have to say that he gave a pretty good performance. As for his girlfriend, really not a fan. I understand where she was coming from, but she still seemed like a bitch to me and was too cruel to Kumail. And the fact that she is in a coma for the majority of the movie certainly doesn’t help her matter.

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The Big Sick Movie Review

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Her parents were a bit too over-the-top, especially the mother. They were fine, but they took too much of the runtime without a doubt. Kumail’s parents were much more interesting, especially in the role reversal of mother and father in a way.

The Big Sick is definitely well acted and mostly well scripted with good dialogue, but it’s a film that never establishes a proper identity. Let me explain. By introducing darker themes such as parental disownment and girlfriend in a coma, it became way too dramatic/melodramatic and the tone was just never properly established. The film never, ever decided whether it’s a romantic comedy or a drama which was problematic to say the least.

The Big Sick is a solid, but highly troublesome movie. It is very well acted, sometimes quite observational and with a particularly strong dialogue and even the script. Some of the conversations were superb. However, the two-hour runtime was just unnecessary, Emily was very unlikable to me and the film never decided whether it wants to be a drama or a romantic comedy and thus the end result is one giant mish-mash affair.

My Rating – 3.5

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The Goodbye Girl (1977)

The Goodbye Girl  Movie Review

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The Goodbye Girl Movie Review

The Goodbye Girl is a 1977 romantic comedy film directed by Herbert Ross and starring Richard Dreyfuss, Marsha Mason and Quinn Cummings. It is a solid, charming flick.

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If you were a Broadway musical,

people would be humming your face

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The Goodbye Girl Movie Review

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As is almost always the case with most romantic comedies, this one is also extremely cliched and predictable in its storyline and from beginning to end. There is nothing original or interesting that happens here in terms of the plot points and that was certainly a problem the movie never overcame.

But still it is an enjoyable film because it does the first part of its genre name right – it gives us romance. The comedy is lacking and despite a couple of amusing moments, the film is rarely really funny and never hilarious. It is more dramatic than comedic, especially in the first half.

But the romance worked for me. I did not think that these characters were all that great, but the interactions between them were interesting and playful and I loved the romantic parts of the film. The ending is too cliched, but sweet, the dinner is lovely and the entire falling in love part is so well done and actually highly effervescent.

Richard Dreyfuss plays an especially likable, charming man and I really liked most of his actions and sentences. He really sold this movie. The character is great, but the actor did a great job himself and honestly his Oscar win is not all that surprising when you think about it. He is the sole reason to see this film.

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The Goodbye Girl Movie Review

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Especially because Marsha Mason isn’t all that great in her role which is definitely too unlikable for way too much of its running time. That is also what Ebert said and this is probably the first time that I entirely agree with his review. However, Quinn Cummings is much better and she deserved her Oscar nomination as she portrayed this memorable girl so well.

The Goodbye Girl is weakly made, very weakly. The direction is so mediocre as is the cinematography and the film looked too stagy. The editing is also weak and I have to say that the first act is very unappealing, not at all engaging and frankly even a bit annoying as the characters are frustrating and unlikable at first. Later the movie improved quite a bit, but eventually it settled into being just a solid rom com and nothing more than that. Its Best Picture nomination was thoroughly undeserved.

The technical aspects are nothing to write home about, the story is of course cliched and predictable and Marsha Mason is unlikable in The Goodbye Girl, but Richard Dreyfuss is great and very likable in such a charming role. And the movie itself is often very pleasant and sweetly romantic leading to a solid and better than average romantic comedy.

My Rating – 3.5

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It (1927)

It Movie Review

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It Movie Review

It is a 1927 silent romantic comedy film which is a great Clara Bow vehicle. She is excellent in the film which is itself not great.

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I’m sorry, but a girl has to do that.

You know how things are

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It Movie Review

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The story of a shop girl who wants to seduce a handsome, wealthy boss is fairly typical by this point. I will give the movie credit for possibly being one of the first films to do this story and it is one of the first romantic comedies, but still it felt overly familiar and it lacked some sort of special oomph in the storytelling department to take it to the next level.

The characters are also fairly straight and typical with the only exception being the protagonist who is memorable. I really liked the performances here, but of course Clara Bow is the highlight and the biggest reason to see this movie for sure.

She excelled in portraying this spunky, energetic and very attractive girl and I could see why men love her and why women want to be her friends. The film explores the concept of “It” which is a special quality of possessing a magnetic force and it was just such a fabulous choice to cast Bow in this role as she really embodies that quality and is magnetic from start to finish here. I loved her look, her dresses and especially her movements and her facial expressions. She really gave a standout performance.

She also made It a very modern movie, much more modern than most of the movies from the twenties and it aged so well that it can be enjoyed a lot even in this day. It surely is a prototype of a romantic comedy as it has all of those ingredients, some great and some annoying.

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It Movie Review

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The film is well directed and paced and it looks great and very modern and quick in pace and in character interactions. I just loved the first half so much with all the preparations for the dinner and especially the roller coaster scene was so wonderful that it was really disappointing to see the second half get reduced to unnecessary melodrama (the subplot with the baby was not needed honestly), typical complications and misunderstandings and an overly bombastic, though still fun and memorable spectacle finale.

It is mainly a major Clara Bow vehicle and she certainly embodies the titular concept perfectly with her beautiful looks and a spunky personality while also giving just a fabulous performance as a whole. I loved the first half as it had some wonderful scenes such as that preparation for dinner as well as a roller coaster scene, but the second half was reduced to typical misunderstandings and melodrama a bit too much and although the spectacle ending is fun, it was still too bombastic. It is certainly a very influential romantic comedy for better and for worse.

My Rating – 4

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Funny Face (1957)

Funny Face Movie Review…………………………………………………..

Funny Face Movie Review

Funny Face is a 1957 musical romantic comedy film directed by Stanely Donen and starring Fred Astaire and Audrey Hepburn. It is not the greatest movie.

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Let’s give ’em the old pizazz!

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Funny Face Movie Review…………………………………………………..

The plot is so predictable and familiar. Astaire’s character provides a modeling career for Audrey’ character who is a highly intellectual bookworm. She turns into a star and the two end up together. Standard stuff. But what is even more frustrating is the 30-year age gap between these two stars and that was quite uncomfortable to watch.

They both gave good performances. Fred Astaire is solid in the role, but to me Audrey Hepburn totally trumped him here and actually gave one of her career best performances. And it is a shame that the movie cannot match her talent whatsoever. The other characters are rare, but somewhat memorable. Maggie is really funny.

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Funny Face Movie Review…………………………………………………..
So Funny Face fails as a romantic comedy because these two do not have good chemistry and their age gap is creepy. I never bought them as a couple and I actually hated them as a couple. And that is never a good sign. I guess it has some romantic scenes and some funny scenes, but they are not enough to compensate for the overall lack of bigger laughs and more genuine, better written romance.
Funny Face is also a musical and it fails in that department as well. Think Pink! is a lot of fun, Bonjour Paris! is so typical, but it looks great and Funny Face is solid. All of the other songs are either forgettable, typical or bland. But the biggest problem here is that the songs just do not have anything to do with the plot itself. Some do, but most act as unfortunate, overlong and even boring detours and they needlessly occupy a very high amoung of screen time.

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Funny Face Movie Review…………………………………………………..
So I do not hate this movie as it has its genuinely good scenes, but most of it is so predictable and typical that it wasn’t a very entertaining experience. The dancing is great, the choreography is excellent and the film is well made, but that just wasn’t enough to overcome such dull plot and characters. The Technicolor here is absolutely gorgeous and one of the finest that I have ever seen. The costumes are amazing, the use of color is brilliant and the film looks so spectacular that it’s a shame that the material is so weak.
It is a total shame that such gorgeous Technicolor, costumes and great effort went to the production of Funny Face, a movie that is so dull and weak in characters and plot. Audrey Hepburn is beautiful and so good in the lead role, but the age gap between her and Fred Astaire is too enormous and frankly uncomfortable and I never bought their romance. The movie fails as a romantic comedy because it is so clichéd and rarely truly romantic and funny plus it also fails as a musical for the songs for the most part do not have anything to do with the plot and are basically detours and filler material.

My Rating – 3

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My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)

My Big Fat Greek Wedding Movie Review……………………………………..

My Big Fat Greek Wedding Movie Review

My Big Fat Greek Wedding is a 2002 romantic comedy starring Nia Vardalos and John Corbett. It is a typical genre film.

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I’ve never seen my sister this happy,

Ian. If you hurt her,

I’ll kill you and make it look like an accident

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My Big Fat Greek Wedding Movie Review……………………………………..
It follows a young Greek woman who starts dating a non-Greek man much to the chagrin of her parents. Eventually the two marry through a series of traditional Greek rituals. First of all, this is an obviously stereotypical movie. Yes, comedies are supposed to exaggerate everything, but here Greeks were portrayed as overly xenophobic and traditional which just wasn’t realistic at all. Because of that, it is such a usual over-the-top Hollywood comedy.
Another problem is that My Big Fat Greek Wedding is beyond clichéd and predictable from beginning to end. That is why watching it wasn’t nearly as fun as it should have been. It is an amusing film, but I still knew every single thing that was going to happen and that was annoying. I know romantic comedy is the most clichéd of all genres, but I just cannot forgive such immense clichés no matter what.
The actors all did a nice job and I liked thay Nina Vardalos is Greek herself, that was great. She is likable here and most of her family members are memorably goofy and funny. But John Corbett was obviously typecast here and the role is boring as hell.

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My Big Fat Greek Wedding Movie Review……………………………………..
Does it succeed as a romance and as a comedy is an important question. Well, to some degree, but only slightly and rarely does it reach greatness. For example, the scene where the two first meet is very romantic and charming, but everything after that was devoid of any genuine warmth and romance. The same goes for laughs. Some supporting characters are funny, but most aren’t. Some lines were pretty memorable and they made me laugh, but this is mostly not a particularly funny movie which is problematic as the premise and scenarios demand much more comedy. And I liked seeing some of Greek traditions (the score is great as is their family dynamic) and that was nice and very ehtnic, but unfortunately too over-the-top and just false.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding has some memorable characters, a couple of funny lines and it is sweet and harmless, but it is mostly too over-the-top in its portrayal of Greek people, the film isn’t funny or romantic enough and the story is awfully clichéd and predictable.

My Rating – 3

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Romancing the Stone (1984)

Romancing the Stone Movie Review………………………………………………………..

Romancing the Stone Movie Review

Romancing the Stone is a 1984 action adventure romantic comedy film directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito. It is a pleasant, fun flick.

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Joanie, you are now a world-class hopeless romantic.

No, hopeful. Hopeful romantic.

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Romancing the Stone Movie Review………………………………………………………..

I really enjoyed this movie. It has everything the Indiana Jones franchise was supposed to have – romance, adventure, charm and a lot of heart. The story itself is pretty solid for this type of movie. Simplistic and typical, yet certainly well crafted and with some memorable plot points and details. The film is very interesting in terms of its tone and genres. It is mostly a fun adventure flick, but it also has action in it and it is definitely a romantic comedy with humor and romance both being very accentuated.

I liked the characters and they were all very likable. It is interesting that this is one of the rare movies where even Michael Douglas I found to be likable as he is usually annoying to me. But he was very good and sympathetic here. Kathleen Turner is excellent and very charming and cute. And of course, as a big Danny DeVito fan, I liked seeing him here a lot and he was quite funny in a couple of scenes.

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Romancing the Stone Review………………………………………………………..

Romancing the Stone is very memorable in its third act. Yes, the action there is certainly overwhelming, but better than it was in the middle of the film and some of the set pieces are quite interesting. I liked the use of crocodiles quite a bit and the hand chopping sequence is truly dark for a supposed family picture.

I would have gone without the Columbian stereotypes and really the people and especially its representation as a poor and wild country felt very unnerving and dated. But the romance worked in my opinion as some of the scenes between the two were quite charming and even though the ending was overly happy, it was still endearing and satisfying in a typical eighties fashion.

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Romancing the Stone Movie Review………………………………………………………..

It is too much a product of its time, but it also benefits from it as they shot in real locations, Mexico I believe, which led to one fine looking movie with great cinematography and a lot of memorable shots and imagery. The direction from Robert Zemeckis is strong and I think this is one of his earliest movies and he showed great talent and he did deliver with such a strong directorial career. The pacing is somewhat problematic and the movie isn’t always as entertaining as it should have been, but it is always endearing and wonderful to watch plus it is surprisingly well crafted and made for a blockbuster. I liked it a lot and it is one of the best blockbusters of its time and one fine adventurous entertainment.

Romancing the Stone has its flaws such as some stereotypes, sometimes overwhelming action and a somewhat typical and predictable story, but the film is so adventurous and charming with quite likable Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner, endearing romance, some very memorable set pieces and shots and a genuinely well crafted, intriguing plot.

My Rating – 4

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Pretty in Pink (1986)

Pretty in Pink Movie Review……………………………………………….

Pretty in Pink Movie Review

Pretty in Pink is a 1986 teen romantic comedy directed by Howard Deutch, written by John Hughes and starring Molly Ringwald. It is a really charming movie.

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I just want them to know that they didn’t break me.

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Pretty in Pink Movie Review……………………………………………….

Now, first I have to say that this is nowhere near the quality of ‘The Breakfast Club’ and ‘Sixteen Candles, two movies that I just adore. It is more in line with Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ as the plot is fairly simple and clichéd, but the film does most with it anyway. Some parts of the film weren’t as great and some were even dated, but most were terrific and my favorite has to be the entire third act which was just beautiful to behold. So romantic, charming and it just brought a smile to my face. And the entire movie felt like a pleasant teen journey.

The characters are pretty good, but some parts felt false. The entire conflict that arose between Andie and Jack in that he was too rich for her was just ridiculous and not believable at all. They did the most they could do with it, but it was still somewhat silly. And I have to say that I didn’t care for him that much. Duckie was at first quite annoying and I didn’t know if he was supposed to be gay or nerd or in love with her and the last option came to fruition eventually. Even though the two were obviously better off as friends, I still wished that she chose him instead. But that ending with him telling her to go after him was both funny and endearing.

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Pretty in Pink Movie Review……………………………………………….

The performances are really good as usual. Harry Dean Stanton is solid and Jon Cryer, though annoying, is quite good in his role. But as usual, Molly Ringwald stole the show as she portrayed such a wonderful character once again and her performance was expectedly great.

Certainly there is something missing in Pretty in Pink and that something is the direction. Howard Deutch is just not John Hughes and although he wrote the script, I wished that he directed the film too as it would have been much better that way.

The film is still competently made, don’t get me wrong. But it is just never as sophisticated as you would come to expect from Hughes’s movies. The script is the major problem as it just felt overly standard and typical. The execution is actually excellent and it thoroughly lifted the material, but I still wished for a couple of more clever lines of dialogue as well as a good conflict.

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Pretty in Pink Movie Review……………………………………………….

But the humor made Pretty in Pink as enjoyable as it is. It is that kind of wonderful and endearing humor that seems realistic and charming instead of forced and I love that. There are some scenes here that were so heartwarming and funny at the same time that I smiled and laughed and was having such a great time. The silly clothes, the prom and of course the soundtrack all brought that very pleasant 80s tone to it and made it a very moving experience. It is far from a great movie or anything like that, but it is competent and lovable enough that I consider it very good and satisfying for the most part.

Pretty in Pink is lacking in comparison to ‘The Breakfast Club’ and ‘Sixteen Candles’ as the script is fairly typical and the conflict rang false, but it is such a lovable movie that I enjoyed it a lot nevertheless. Molly Ringwald is as likable as ever, the third act was so wonderful and the movie is well acted and made while consistently being endearing in its humor and characters.

My Rating – 4

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