The 1990s and early 2000s were a treasure trove of rom-com goodness, with classics like Insomnia in Seattle, Notting Hilland love, in fact gracing our screens and making us all believe in love, just for a little while. But, with the possible exception of 2018 boobies rich asianthe last 10 years have been something of a rom-com wasteland, leaving us thirsty for good romance and old-fashioned laughs.
Sure, there’s a constant rotation of romantic comedies on the Hallmark Channel, and a few here and there on Netflix and other streamers, but if your taste is less on the cheesy side and more on classic love stories at slow burning like we’ve seen in movies like When Harry meets Sally… and Serendipity, there is good news. Maybe we needed a pandemic to remind us what a good rom-com could be, because there are two new offerings this month to whet your long-starved rom-com appetite.
Both films premiered on Friday, February 11, just in time for Valentine’s Day weekend, of course. So go to the theater and watch Marry meor launch Amazon Prime and discover I want you to come back. You’ll be glad you did since both harken back to an era you thought might have seen its finest days.
Marry mefeaturing Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson, is starting to feel like a JLo concert, so if modern pop music and over-the-top dance shows in skimpy costumes aren’t your thing, you might want to stream the movie on Peacock Premium, so you can cut the sound or speed – forward to the good things – a love story that will warm your cold winter heart. In this romantic comedy, Kat Valdez (Lopez) hosts a massive concert in Times Square with her fiancé, fellow Latin pop singer Bastian (Maluma). At the climax of the concert, the two plan to have a wedding, which of course, is televised and broadcast live with millions of people watching. Just before Kat takes the stage in her designer wedding dress, a video of Bastian cheating on her (with his assistant) goes viral on social media. Once she sees the video and dramatically drops her phone, she decides the show must go on and walks out on stage anyway.
But, instead of marrying Bastian as planned, she spots a random man in the crowd, Charlie (Wilson) holding his friend’s sign that reads “Marry Me”, the wedding theme song that was supposed to be performed. . by the superstar couple. The typical normal guy swept up in a celebrity’s world story ensues, à la Notting Hillas Kat and her people decide to keep Charlie around for six weeks, just so she doesn’t have to be publicly ridiculed for getting divorced again again. In typical rom-com fashion, the ending is pretty predictable from there. However, it’s a sweet story with solid acting from both leads and a few cracking laughs along the way. It’s not quite up to the magic of Notting Hill, and that’s fine. It’s a more modern take, with social media tropes and a single dad adding a whole new dimension to the whole celebrity trope falling for a normal person.
Clearly, Lopez is looking to reclaim her romantic comedy queen title that she earned with titles like Made in Manhattan and The wedding planner. Then she will again play the bride who does not exactly blush in shotgun wedding next to Josh Duhamel. This film may be shooting for a whole new genre, the rom-com/action flick, with Lopez and Duhamel as a couple hosting a lavish destination wedding. Their plans go awry when both of their families are kidnapped, and it’s up to them to save their loved ones from the bad guys. Ass kicking, comedy and rekindling love are sure to ensue. shotgun wedding is slated for release in June, in time for the blockbuster summer movie season.
The Amazon Prime romantic comedy was also released on Valentine’s Day weekend, I want you to come backfeaturing charlie day and Jenny Slate. What a pleasant surprise this movie was! In the opening scenes, Peter (Day) and Emma (Slate) are both dumped by their longtime loves, Anne (Gina Rodriguez) and Noah (Scott Eastwood), respectively. They both have mini-breakdowns at work and go to calm down in the stairwell of a high-rise office building, leading to a cute cute encounter. After a drunken karaoke tour (including a truly stellar, if goofy, performance of Alanis Morrisette’s “You Oughtta Know,” they hatch a plan to help the other win back their exes.
It’s an imperfect plan with seduction and the creation of a new best friend at the base, so you know it will turn out exactly as they hope! Although romantic comedies are, as a rule, somewhat predictable, this story will keep you laughing and surprising throughout. The level of cheese is kept to a minimum, and there’s physical comedy here too. Overall it gives a When Harry meets Sally… friendship vibe maybe turning into something more, but it’s a fun ride to the awww– inducing end.
Fans of old-school rom-coms will also enjoy some of the throwback music appearing on the I want you to come back soundtrack. Along with the aforementioned ultimate ’90s breakup song, there’s Marvin Gaye, Herb Alpert, and Four Tops who really capitalize on the nostalgic feel of the storyline. Some songs and some love stories are timeless, and the filmmakers realize that.
So, will the romantic comedy genre return to its 1990s-early 2000s heyday? Or have the days of really great romantic comedies passed? That remains to be seen, but having two new rom-coms to enjoy is good news for fans of the genre. After the past two years, even people who don’t like romance might learn to fall in love with a new generation of romantic comedy. With disaster movies, superheroes and dinosaurs dominating the post-COVID era, maybe it’s time to let some love and laughter into the cinematic experience again.
From “Loving” to “Pride & Prejudice,” here are 10 movie pairs to make you swoon this Valentine’s Day.
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