Tag Archives: romantic comedy

Shopgirl

It’s been almost 20 years since Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks put Manhattan’s Upper West Side on the map in the rom-com classic You’ve Got Mail.

Visit my neighborhood today and all the movie’s sights are still here — the local restaurants where they rendezvoused, the farmer’s market, Riverside Park. Everything but her little Shop Around the Corner.

Well, that’s changing.

book-culture3Book Culture is opening their doors literally around the corner from my brownstone apartment and taking up the ‘small bookshop mantle’ that Meg’s character abandoned lo’ those many years ago.

Their window says it best:

youvegotmailNow, the modern version of the movie’s ‘big bad Fox Books’ exists today — Barnes & Noble is just a couple of blocks away.  So it will be interesting to see how this small store will compete on selection and pricing.

But I for one am excited to see life imitate art just feet from my doorsteps.

Wonder if the proprietor will be as photogenic?

Moving pictures

The trailer for Words & Pictures, starring Juliette Binoche and Clive Owen, makes it look like a light romantic comedy.

Makes you wonder if the marketing folks even watched the film.
words and pictures

The promo oversimplifies the story to its most basic elements: two teachers at a private high school clash on the relative importance of art and literature while falling in love.

Tragic.

Not the movie; it was lovely.  What is tragic is  everything the trailer leaves out.

I don’t expect it to reveal every detail  — I’d prefer it didn’t — but the love story in W&P is very specific to the two teachers’ ages, health issues, and work and family situations.  It’s complicated because their lives are more complicated, which makes it a more interesting and multi-layered story.

And it deserves a trailer that reflects that.

Oh well, I’m a happy camper — I got way more movie than I expected!

A weekend in the country

Oh, Austenland — I wanted to love you.

austenlandYou had it all.

A costume drama dressed up as romcom. Subject matter I enjoy ever so much. And a cast with the chops to make movie magic.  So what went wrong?

I blame the director.

The premise was great fun — a Jane Austen addict on a total immersion vacation — and it’s not like everything missed the mark.  But some of the actors were doing slapstick and others were letting the humor happen more naturally.

And in the same scenes, that difference was rather jarring.

austenland martin nobelyI did develop a crush or two — on JJ Feild, who portrayed Mr. Henry Nobely (right), and Bret McKenzie as the estate worker Martin (and who you may recognize from Flight of the Conchords).

So, while the movie did not win my heart like a Sense and Sensibility or Pride and Prejudice, the men did.

Time well spent.

Lost my train of thought

If my Saturday was a train, it would be derailed.

And what was the object blocking the tracks?

while you were sleepingWhile You Were Sleeping (1995)

This classic romantic comedy (which I have seen way too many times to count) aired on HBO mid-morning — right about the time on a Saturday that you make that fateful decision:

Productive or potato?

But when I heard the first strains of the movie soundtrack, I knew I was beat.  I love watching Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman together on screen…even if it is for the hundredth time.

So there I sat for the next two hours.  And then I had to walk the dog and eat lunch and watch the painful UK-UT game and suddenly — it’s late afternoon.

Oh well.  Tomorrow I won’t turn on the premium channels so early here at the ‘station.’

An eye for talent

I cast a major network sitcom.

No — not cast in.  I helped cast one of the guest stars in last night’s episode of Up All Night.

Let me explain.

Earlier this year, Christina Applegate took to Twitter and asked her followers to suggest comedic actors for a project.  Knowing most people would go with the obvious choices, I put forth a recent find:

Steven Pasquale

I happened upon the actor a month or two before in the USA mini-series Marry Me, co-starring Lucy Liu.  The movie wasn’t anything to write home about, but Pasquale was.

He took your typical made-for-TV romantic lead and turned it into something uniquely appealing.  His timing was unique.  I stuck with the mini-series — we’re talking four hours, people — because he made the expected and predictable extremely entertaining.

Christina later tweeted a thank you for our suggestions, saying she had received a couple of names that she didn’t recognize and planned to research.

And look who pops up on Up All Night??

It’s pretty gratifying, I admit.  (Would be even more so with a finder’s fee.)