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Monday, August 10, 2009:
Movie weekend: romantic comedies
This weekend was a relaxing one, where I beat the heat by staying indoors (mostly) and watching some movies I'd not seen before, and reading some good books. It was all about romance...other people's of course LOL.

Here's my movie roundup:



RETURN TO ME: A charming romantic comedy about finding love in the most ironic--and unlikely--of places. Bob Rueland (David Duchovny) is mourning the tragic loss of his wife, who nobly agreed to donate her heart to a needy recipient. When he meets Grace Briggs (Minnie Driver), little does he realize that she's the recipient! Eventually, the truth comes out, and Bob must decide for himself which heart it is his heart wants to follow.

I can't believe I've never watched this one before, considering I'm a long-time David Duchovny fan (sex scandals nonwithstanding) as well as the fact this was filmed in Chicago. So it arrived on Friday and I watched it Sunday. Very sweet without being sarcastic about it. I liked that.

David plays Bob (though it's hard to think of him as a Bob), who lost his wife Elizabeth. We actually meet her in the beginning of the film and see what an amazing woman she is. A year later he decides to start dating again but the woman he goes to dinner with is not the one he ends up noticing. Instead he's drawn to their waitress, and after a bit of hesitation, awhile later he asks her out. The two begin to fall in love when they realize that Grace's heart is the one belonging to his late wife. I liked that they were both gun-shy, and watching them genuinely falling for each other was lovely. It wasn't all fireworks and grand gestures, but rather conversations and holding hands. That really appealed to me. Wish they made a few more romances that concentrated more on the couple than outside circumstances. Anyway if you haven't seen it, I think you should.



From British director Nigel Cole, whose sweet-hearted comedies CALENDAR GIRLS and SAVING GRACE shared a similar combination of humor and true emotion, A LOT LIKE LOVE is the story of two friends who seem destined to love each other--if they can ever realize that themselves. Meeting on a flight from Los Angeles to New York, naive Oliver (Ashton Kutcher) and tough Emily (Amanda Peet) have sex in an airplane lavatory before learning each other's names. Despite this intimate introduction, Emily is uninterested in getting to know the guy she just picked up, telling Oliver frankly that he's not her type. The two part ways, but end up running into each other hours later in what proves to be just the first of many semi-coincidental romantic encounters. After spending a fun day together in the city, Oliver gives Emily his home number and tells her to call him in 6 years, once he's gotten his life and career figured out. When an unforeseen breakup leaves Emily dateless for New Year's Eve a few years later, she calls Oliver and they meet again. In the years that have passed since their first meeting, Emily has taken up acting, Oliver has started an online diaper-selling business, and both have gotten more flattering haircuts. But Emily is disappointed to learn that Oliver is moving to San Francisco for business the next day. Over the course of a few years, Emily and Oliver grow to depend on each other in times of crisis, and develop a solid friendship. While each sporadic encounter contains an undeniable spark, the timing never seems to be right, with several bad relationships, career transitions, and location changes getting in the way. But will the pair realize their feelings for each other and get together before it's too late?

I'd seen the preview for this movie a few times, and thought it looked interesting enough to watch, so did, though the appeal of Ashton Kutcher usually escapes me. I thought he was good in "The Guardian" with Kevin Costner, but overall I don't see it. And in this movie when he goes into the airplane bathroom and Amanda Peet follows him in there, I seriously have to question her sanity. He looks like a 17-year-old skateboarder, and a dorky one at that.

The movie was alright, nothing earth-shattering. Ashton & Amanda were cute together, had lots of chemistry, same sense of humor. Realized 7 years later they were in love and finally on the same page. Hoorah. Life is good.

Is it just me, or does it seem they don't make really good

romantic comedies anymore?

You know, the kind that tug at your heartstrings.

Or do they and I've been missing out?



  1. ooh, i loved Return to Me. I remember seeing it in the theatre when it first came out. Very good little movie. sad and romantic at the same time.

    the only ashton kutcher that i have really truly enjoyed is his character on that 70s show. lol.

  2. Hey Stacy, I think that you are right. They don't make great ones any more...I can't really remember any most recent ones that were great...Seriously, how can they top, "When Harry Met Sally", "You've got mail", "The Truth About Cats and Dogs?" I guess "27 Dresses" and "P.S., I love you" can be thrown in there too, and maybe "Love Actually"...I think my memory is coming back...

    I never saw "Return to Me", but that is just because I don't like Ashton Kutcher as an actor. I just don't take him seriously at all.

    Peace and love,
    Paula R.

  3. I love Return to Me. I saw it in the theater when it first came out and will watch it anytime I see it on tv. I can't really think of any great romantic comedies I've seen that are new.

  4. I'm with you and Sula--Return to Me is such a great movie to watch! There's humor, but it's mostly sweet about it.

  5. I'm adding Return to me to the netflix! I loved Mr. Duchovny in the X-Files.

    I watched a few romances recently. One I really enjoyed and can't believe I waited so long to watch it, Persuasion. I liked it better than Pride and Prejudice I think :). I don't know, but I really liked it and it made me a bit weepy at the end. I also watched The Outsider. I liked it, but didn't think it was great.

    I have Anne of Green Gables sitting in my room to watch soon :).

  6. I love both of these movies. :)

    I watched one last week that reminded me of the sweet, funny romantic comedies I loved so much in the 90s. It was New in Town, with Renee Zellweger and Harry Connic, Jr. I'm not much of a RZ fan, but I looooove Harry Connick, Jr. (YUM!) The movie was a little bit corny, but in a cute way. There were some really sweet scenes between Harry's character and his daughter. Loved it. :)

  7. Amazingly, I haven't seen either of these movies! I love Ashton Kutcher, he's just too adorable!

    I think that in general they haven't been coming out with really great romance movies lately. I do want to see "The Time Traveller's Wife" that one looks pretty good.

  8. I liked A Lot Like Love. Not the best, but enjoyable enough.

    But yeah, the Proposal was good. But He's Not That Into and Shopaholic were really bad rom coms.

    I posted a trailer for It's Complicated on the Boob Tube (my movie blog) with Meryl Streep. THat looks good!

  9. Sula, it was very sweet, and I genuinely liked both David's and Minnie's characters. Very likable. I'm glad I watched it.

    Paula, I lament the lack of really good romantic movies. Not all-out gushy sugar, but just sweet, romantic movies. The kind that make you sigh. Yeah and Ashton's appeal really escapes me too.

    Liza, I no longer feel left out from not having seen it. Wish there were more like it.

    AL, I just really liked how Bob and Grace fell in love. They took their time, got to know each other. Not that I mind lusty affection, but there's something to be said for taking it least in the movies :)

    AmyC, which version of Persuasion did you see? I heard there's a few and only one is really good. Which one did you watch? LOVE AoGG!

    JenB, I'm so adding that to my list. As someone who grew up in MN, I'll just roll my eyes at the "ya hey dere" references LOL.

    Barbara, I think I'm going to see TTW this weekend, though I heard they changed the ending? Hmmm...

    Ames, I saw the trailer, and now I so want to see the movie. Looks fun.

  10. Hey Stacy, it was the 1995 version. There were tons of looks of longing between the two that I just loved.

  11. Sometimes you have to look in places you weren't expecting. I wasn't expecting to like "Fever Pitch" (with Jimmy Fallon) but it turned out to be a lovely, heartfelt movie that had silliness but didn't compromise its' characters.

    I'm also a fan of 27 Dresses.

    By the way - I nominated you for an E for Excellent blogger award on my blog!

  12. I haven't seen either of those movies. I love Down With Love as a romantic comedy, and Kate & Leopold.

  13. I saw "Return To Me" in the theatre when it came out, and I loved it too. Very sweet and touching.

    Have you ever seen "Prelude to a Kiss"? I loved that too and I think it's a similar-type movie.

  14. Ahhh, the rom com :) And no, I don't think they make good ones any more.

    JenB - I just loved New in Town. I think it was the house that Harry Connick Jr's character built that caught me :)

    And I just adores Love Actually. But I wanted Laura Linley's character to have a HEA *stamps feet*

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