Saturday, 31 January 2009

Desperately seeking a decent romcom

Anne Hathaway seems nice enough, but I find myself disappointed by her new film, Rachel Getting Married, even though I haven't seen it.

This is because every time I hear the title, my romcom radar registers a tremor of activity. I keep thinking RGM is an adaptation of a Marian Keyes novel. Or, more specifically, two. Rachel Getting Married is, through the leaky double filter of my ears and brain, a hybrid of Rachel's Holiday and Lucy Sullivan Is Getting Married. There is an additional, thematic, red herring since in the film, Hathers plays a drug addict, while in Rachel's Holiday, the vacation of the title is actually a spell in rehab. However, instead of a warm, witty, watch-whenever-you're-off-sick romantic comedy, RGM is in fact a worthy, character-led drama. Eurgh, tiresome! 

As if the world is not in enough trouble, it seems to be increasingly full of films that promise to be romcoms - explicitly or otherwise - yet fail to deliver. The most common failing is the lameness of com. Closely followed by a leaden lack of rom. Is it part of my slide towards early middle age that I mistakenly believe they don't make 'em like they used to? Or is the romcom species really in danger, desperately in need of protection and preservation? If it's the latter, I might write to Jamie Oliver to see if there is anything he can do to help. I'm sure he's looking to diversify.

6 comments:

Chris said...

So long as there are DVDs of When Harry Met Sally and machines to play them on, we shall be all right.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of wrong impressions of films - I went to see Slumdog Millionaire this weekend thinking I was going to see an uplifting love story. Bloody hell it was depressing. Most of the audience seemed to be in equal shock afterwards - the women behind us muttering 'I was not expecting that' repeatedly. It was brilliant - but don't go expecting a barrel of laughs! (I have re read the reviews I read beforehand and think we must have been watching a different film).

Miss Jones said...

Mr A, you are entirely right. It is the standard against which all others are tested and found wanting.

Anon, I have developed something of a crush on Danny Boyle, and have been canvassing opinions on whether 51 is too old. The answer has so far been an overwhelming no (that is, not too old, not don't go there). It is only an age gap of 16 years, after all. However, I would consider him a young 51, while I have always been approximately 76 on the inside, which makes the age gap at least 25 years...

Anonymous said...

I, on the other hand, saw Slumdog Millionaire after hearing the World Service serialisation of the book it is based on, Q&A and was relieved to find it was not quite as distressing!

Anonymous said...

God, I so agree with you (both) on WHMS and on the rom com front generally! I am constantly being disappointed by modern ones. So great when done well, so not when done badly. Arguably of all the genres it suffers most from being made cynically and the end result being insulting to its audience – though I may only think this as I am most often found in it's audience.

If the NFT would just have a season of classic ones running most months I would be very happy!

Ms Rose

Anonymous said...

Miss Jones, even more depressing than Slumdog Millionaire is the thought that I am only 16 years away from 51 ...