Zany, madcap, wacky, screwball, etc. are all great words to describe What’s Up Doc? This is a super hilarious romantic comedy from 1972, starring Barbra Streisand and Ryan O’Neal. Madeline Kahn (RIP) costars brilliantly in the same kind of role she plays in Young Frankenstein: the OCD uptight fiancée who is made to appear less desirable than the manic pixie dream girl (before we called them that).
The movie opens in San Francisco and begins with four identical plaid suitcases. One belongs to Ryan’s Dr. Howard Bannister and contains special rocks he needs for a science conference. Another is filled with top-secret documents and belongs to “Mr. Smith.” A “Mr. Jones” is chasing after these documents. The third bag is filled with expensive jewelry. The last bag belongs to Barbra’s Judy Maxwell and contains clothing. Judy chases Howard around his hotel, both to try to find her bag and to score free meals.
At the same time, two hotel employees are attempting to steal the bag they believe has the jewelry, while Jones is trying to get the document bag. Everyone ends up with the wrong bag, of course! Howard’s fiancée is having trouble understanding why Judy keeps popping up all over the place. There is a rival for a science grant who tries to take advantage of Howard’s predicament. It’s all so wild!
Since it’s a romcom, there is a happy ending for Judy and Howard, yayyy. 💖
And with that, I am finished with the alphabloggery, thank Godzilla.
When Harry Met Sally is one of my all-time favorite movies. I love the characters and the humor. Once again, I think Rob Reiner does an excellent job of directing. I used to list WHMS as my favorite romcom, but now I don’t, even though I still adore the film and rewatch it yearly.
Harry and Sally meet right when they’re graduating college at University of Chicago and share a ride to New York City. They get to know each other a little on this trip, and dislike each other, arguing continuously about the nature of relationships between men and women. Over the next decade, they bump into one another repeatedly in various venues as they attach and detach from other partners.
There’s so much wonderful humor and profound insight about the complexities of relationships here, not to mention fabulous quotes. I treasure the supporting cast as well ~ in fact, when I rewatch the movie now, it’s the instant spark between Marie and Jess that really affects me.
I know the on-again, off-again, passionate drama between Harry and Sally and his crazy run through the streets of Manhattan on NYE is what makes this movie such a beautiful piece of art, but but but…
When Marie (Carrie Fisher, RIP) and Jess hit it off immediately, jump into that taxi, and spend the rest of their lives together without all the BS… that gets to me. I mean, Harry and Sally had to keep sleeping with other people (and in Harry’s case marry one) before they finally figured out hey duhhh we’re right for each other. But Jess and Marie don’t have to hurt each other to love each other.
I like that. Of course I get that the smooth path doesn’t make an interesting movie. But I still like it!
Valley Girl is a cute romcom starring Deborah Foreman and Nicholas Cage. It’s essentially a conflict between social class and peer groups. Julie is part of the upper middle class “Galleria” crowd, all about being popular at her high school, dating a football player, looking cute at all times, etc. Randy is an edgy Hollywood dude, part of the tougher L.A. scene “over the hill,” and shunned by Julie’s friends after he crashes into their world one night.
Though the movie is about high school kids and can seem silly at times (not to mention dated now), it still has the universal theme regarding choices we make, even as adults, and how difficult it is to step away from our social group and their expectations and prejudices.
While You Were Sleeping is a sweet romcom starring Sandra Bullock, one of my favorite actors. “Train” comes from the fact that Sandra plays Lucy, an employee of the CTA who works at the booth where people drop their tokens before boarding. She’s a single gal (with an adorable cat, natch) who fantasizes about one particular handsome man who passes by each morning. He’s always perfectly dressed in a suit and coat, and Lucy imagines herself to be in love with him.
On Christmas morning, the handsome man is mugged and pushed onto the train tracks. Lucy leaves her booth and runs out to help; she rolls him away from the oncoming train. He’s unconscious, and when he wakes up in the hospital, he has amnesia.
Due to a mumbling misunderstanding, the hospital staff believes Lucy is the man’s fiancée. When his family shows up, Lucy is introduced not only as his fiancée but also as the person who saved his life. She is overwhelmed with their gratitude and the mistaken identity farce rolls on.
But then the handsome man’s charming and adorable brother arrives.
Sandra is so great here. I just love her. I also loved her in Miss Congeniality, but I couldn’t use that as one of my romcoms unfortunately because although MC has the happy ending, I did watch MC2, which shows Sandra’s character and her man from MC1 breaking up. Too sad! Not that I didn’t love MC2 too, mind you. But it was one of those girl power movies, which are great in their own right. Sandra also rocks those. She’s fabulous in everything. 💖
Romancing the Stone is an adventure romcom starring Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas. I mentioned it in my review of the romance novel Heart of Fire because that story also involved a heroine trekking down to the jungle, etc. But in RTS we have a city girl (a romance novelist!) who is not an archaeologist and is totally unprepared to brave the dangers of Columbia. However, off Joan goes to rescue her sister, who’s being held for ransom by some baddies.
Joan encounters Jack (popular name for protags), who is also seeking the treasure map Joan needs to deliver to her sister’s kidnappers. Naturally, Jack is the antithesis of everything Joan dreams of in a man, but she changes her mind yada. I’m not too impressed with this storyline in my twilight years, since it mirrors reality too painfully ~ woman having to adapt to man instead of the other way around. In real life, you so often end up alone despite contorting or erasing your self to please Mr. Man, or you wish you were alone.
I mean, how many times are we going to need a snarky macho dude with lightning-quick reflexes to chop off a deadly snake’s head while we are trying to have a convo with him about something important to our heart? I’d rather have the empathetic verbally adept guy with mediocre snake-chopping skillz. Yes, I understand that it only takes the one deadly snake… so you spend your life adapting to snarky jerk just in case there’s ever a snake, and you never find anyone to fucking hear what you have to say.
Be that as it may, RTS is still a fun flick, and Danny DeVito is always hilarious.
Sorry to have digressed into a mini rant in the middle of this thrilling review series that no one cares about! 🙄😂🤪
Posted in Books, Fantasy, Fun, Movies, Relationships
Tagged A2Z, aging, aminals, navel glazing, psychology, rants, reviews, romance novels, romcoms
Last week I wore these bronze wedge shoes I hadn’t worn in months. I went downstairs to get the mail around 3PM and came back up on the elevator with a handsome man. Of course his face was buried in his phone. When I got off the elevator my shoe broke. What? I limped back to my office and took a photo of it, as you do.
I taped my poor shoe together with mailing tape until I got home, when I dumped them in the trash (and they weren’t even old!). But it occurred to me that if I were in a romance novel or a romcom, my shoe would have broken earlier so the cute man would have helped me. Maybe he would have taken me to his office where he had a special shoe stapling gun.
That’s not dramatic enough for a whole story though. Maybe he’d be a secret agent and ask me to hold a document for him. The next day, his office would be trashed and we’d have to go on the run. Naturally, I’d be wearing different shoes…
Okay, okay… the romcom is called Crossing Delancey, and it stars Amy Irving (also Peter Riegert, which is a P too, but I haven’t been putting male names in these titles because honestly don’t men get enough attention already? Geez!), but pickles are an important part of this movie.
What we have here is a snooty New Yorker, Isabelle, who thinks she is a bit too upscale for pickle seller Sam, even though he is undeniably sexy, witty, charming, and kind. He’s overtly religious, and though Isabelle is Jewish too, she’s more attracted to a narcissistic writer who she thinks is a better match. Complications ensue!
What makes this romcom different is that the heroine is flawed and needs to see the error of her ways to actually become worthy of the good guy. Most romances are the opposite, with a noble female lead and an imperfect dude who has to change to win her lurrrrve. Plus, he must go on quests and solve crimes and do other cool things, while she just needs to be pretty and breathe. Or, depending on the genre, maybe not breathe, but I digress. It’s why we call them fantasies, amirite?
In real life, everyone is flawed and it’s a miracle any two people can stand to be with each other for more than five minutes. Or maybe that’s just me, huh? Probably me. 🤣😂🤪
Posted in Fantasy, Movies, Noodling, Relationships
Tagged A2Z, fiction, love, navel glazing, psychology, religion, reviews, romcoms
Bonus O for this movie being set in Oregon. Now, I love Goldie Hawn… she’s been a fave of mine since forever. Loved her on Laugh-In, and one of the first romcoms I ever saw starred Ms. Hawn. I think it was called Butterflies Are Free. Besides that, she gave the world Kate Hudson, another fabulous actor! (I’ve reviewed two movies starring Kate in this A2Z challenge: Alex & Emma and How to Lose A Guy in 10 Days.)
In Overboard, Goldie is matched with her real-life sweetie Kurt Russell. Goldie plays a spoiled wealthy wife who is mean to hired carpenter Kurt. When she falls off her yacht and gets amnesia, her husband leaves her in the hospital so he can go party, and Kurt scoops her up to take care of his house and kids.
Hijinks ensue! Very fun movie, if a bit crazy. But aren’t they all? Mostly you have to suspend your disbelief altogether for movies, whether romances or thrillers or whatever genre. Just too many insanely ridiculous coincidences, amirite?
Not gonna lie… I don’t enjoy many of Julia Roberts’ films. Pretty Woman? Meh. Steel Magnolias? Barf. Mystic Pizza? Nah. That one where she took swimming lessons and pretended to drown to escape an abusive monster husband? Eh.
But then we have Notting Hill. What is the difference between Notting Hill and those other movies? I’ll give you a hint and it rhymes with Clue Plant. 🤣🤣🤣
So, there you have it, peeps. Notting Hill: a reason to watch Hugh Grant do his witty, who me gosh I hadn’t realized I was quite this adorable no really would you like a spot of tea or perhaps later oh now is good well then now is good for me too.
Multiple bonus M’s manifest in today’s romantic comedy Married to the Mob. We have the stars Michelle Pfeiffer and Matthew Modine mixing it up with the Mob. Michelle is a Mafia wife married to a macho man who doesn’t believe in monogamy. When he is caught messing around with his boss’s mistress however, macho man is found murdered. That’s when Matthew moves in to solve the crime, and fall for mama Michelle.
It’s all fun and games until someone gets a bullet in the head. And heart.
If anyone has it in for the obnoxious Alec Baldwin, you’ll be happy to watch this flick. Even if not, Michelle P. is fun to see as a gum-snapping brunette.