Category Archives: bromance rom coms

Some-one Marry Barry

MV5BMTk1NjczNDg1MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjI5NzQzMjE@._V1_SY317_CR2,0,214,317_AL_Lucy Punch, Tyler Labine, Damon Wayans Jr, Hayes MacArthur, Thomas Middleditch

Everyone has a ‘Barry’ amongst their group of friends – that person who is socially inappropriate and embarrassing. Des, Rafe and Kurt have a Barry in their gang, and his name is Barry Burke. When Barry’s inappropriate behaviour finally becomes intolerable, the friends organise something extreme to get him out of their lives. They want to get Barry married.

But when Barry meets Melanie Miller all by himself, he finds that she is his female equivalent. He may not need his friends’ help after all.

I rented this movie with trepidation, expecting the crude, rude, infantile and penis-centred approach to comedy that usually surrounds these rom coms that are loaded up with too many male protagonists. Too many dudes! Where are all the women?

Although it was definitely in there, the crude and rude were bearable. This, I put down, to Lucy Punch, who I think is fabulous. She’s a comedic gem of the rom com screen (see the Wedding Video (particularly the Wedding Video), You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, A Little Bit of Heaven). Punch seems to soften out the tasteless edges.

So, all in all this film is actually not too bad. The script, although light weight, is smooth and gets to where it’s supposed to be going. It’s quite funny, not overly clever, but generally entertaining. One of the better rom coms of 2014 (surprisingly).

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Date and Switch

MV5BMjAwODUzOTQ5Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNzAwMjc5MDE@._V1_SY317_CR0,0,214,317_AL_Nicholas Braun, Hunter Cope, Dakota Johnson, Zach Cregger, Sarah Hyland

Two life long friends plan to lose their virginity before they finish high school and go off to college. But their plans change slightly when Matt reveals he’s a ‘gay dude’. Michael tries to be the best friend he can, but he’s scared of change.

This is a ‘coming of age’ film that is beautifully put together and doesn’t alienate the older viewer. Matt and Michael are lovely characters and together they have quite an amusing time. When their friendship is in jeopardy of falling apart, they are reminded of what is important in life.

There aren’t any sex scenes, but there is a moderate amount of drug use, so it may not be the best film for the younger teens.

This is, however, an engaging, humorous and touching film for adult viewers, and it is highly recommended.

The Way Way Back

MV5BNTU5ODk5NDg0Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNzQwMjI1OQ@@._V1_SX214_Liam James, Toni Collette, Steve Carell, Sam Rockwell, Allison Janney, Maya Rudolph, AnnaSophia Robb, Amanda Peet, Rob Corddry

Young Duncan is on holidays with his mother, his mother’s boyfriend, and the boyfriend’s teenage daughter. But he’s not happy – he’s 14, awkward, unsure about his mother’s relationship, and a bit lost overall.

He meets Owen, played by Rockwell, at the local water park. Owen gives Duncan a summer job, recognising a kid who needs to come out of his shell. He teaches Duncan that life isn’t always what you want it to be, you have to make your own happiness. The friendship they form is exactly what Duncan desperately needs.

This is a terrific coming of age film, and a film about all sorts of relationships. Maya Rudolph is a lovely actor, and she and Allison Janney provide a lot of the humour along with Rockwell.

The Way Way Back is definitely a film worth watching more than once. It rolls along at a great pace, has a range of interesting characters, makes you laugh, and makes you want to see what happens after it’s finished. Make sure you put it on your list.

Kiss the Bride

MV5BMTg1ODgwODU4M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwOTY0ODU2MQ@@._V1_SY317_CR0,0,214,317_Tori Spelling, Philipp Karner, James O’Shea

Matt finds out his first love, Ryan, is getting married – to a woman! So he returns to his home town where he grew up to rescue him. But on meeting Ryan’s fiancé, Alex, Matt has to admit she’s a great girl. He doesn’t want to hurt her feelings, but he needs to tell Ryan he still loves him before he gets married and makes a huge mistake. Alex doesn’t know about Matt’s gay past and if she finds out, who knows what might happen.

Oh the confusion! Alex and Matt make out, Ryan and Matt make out. Is this a film about exploring sexually identity? Or is it about love? I don’t know.

It is great to have a rom com with homosexuality so prominently featured, but unfortunately it is a totally crap film. Matt and Ryan keep taking their shirts off to reveal some extremely buff bodies (sometimes I thought it was going to slip into gay porn!), but most of the time it didn’t have any connection to the storyline.

I think the story itself could have made a pretty good rom com film, but it is all too pretty, with not enough flow.

The Oranges

MV5BMTkzOTAzODM3Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMjMzOTUzOA@@._V1_SX214_Leighton Meester, Catherine Keener, Alia Shawkat, Carol Ostroff, Hugh Laurie, Adam Brody, Oliver Platt

Two best friends, David and Terry,  live across the road from each other with their families. Their children have grown up together and the two families are very close.

When Terry and Carol’s daughter, Nina, comes home for thanksgiving, she is attracted to David and they eventually start an affair.  This not only drives a wedge between David and Terry, but has a huge affect on everyone in both families. David’s wife leaves home, but their daughter Vanessa is trapped there, watching the drama unfold with her former classmate and her dad.

Everything between the two families comes to a head at Christmas when David’s wife Paige finds a way to deal with her anger and lets loose on the garden ornaments!  This film is as much about what would happen to the friendship between David and Terry as it is about the romance between David and Nina. The narrative gives equal measure to everyone in the family, what they are feeling, how they are dealing with the affair, and how they are dealing with their own happiness.

This is a terrific flick, with solid acting and a range of themes on the table. The viewer can make an emotional investment in all of the characters, and the script is careful to let everyone’s journey play out until the end. Very much worth a watch.

The Change-Up

Leslie Mann, Jason Bateman, Ryan Reynolds

Dave and Mitch are best friends. Dave is a career man, married with young children. Mitch is a would-be actor and lothario. On one fateful night they wish for each other’s lives while peeing in a fountain together. They wake up in each other’s bodies and have to lead each other’s lives. They are freaked out at first, but then settle into it, and get to know more intimate things about each other.

This is a common rom com theme – trading places. We’ve seen it before, but this film does quite a fresh job with it. There are a few cringe-worthy remarks about women, but generally there is quite a bit of light humour and laugh-out-loud moments. Worth a watch on Saturday night.

 

The Dilemma

Jennifer Connelly, Wynona Ryder, Vince Vaughn, Kevin James

Ronny (Vaughn) and Nick (James) are best friends and business partners. When Ronny sees Nick’s wife, Geneva, (Ryder) with another man, he is in turmoil over breaking the news to him. They are best friends, but they are also in the middle of a crucial business deal and Nick is under a lot of stress. So rather than tell Nick, he confronts Geneva, follows her, becomes an amateur sleuth, and makes things a whole lot worse for everyone.

It looked like a great film in the trailer…but ended up short of the mark. There doesn’t seem to be much comedy and I definitely didn’t laugh. The acting seems fine (although I don’t know about Wynona Ryder in a rom com) but the script seems to be falling between genres – too dramatic for comedy, too light for drama.  The women seem to be superflous to the plot – even though it was about a cheating wife, it was more about the relationship between the two men. So I have classified this film as a bromance. Disappointing – only watch if nothing else to do.

Pineapple Express

Seth Rogan, James Franco

Dale Denton (Rogan) is a total stoner who accidentally witnesses a murder involving a cop and a drug lord. He turns to his weed dealer, Saul (Franco) for help  and the two of them have to flee. They are betrayed by Saul’s dealer and friend Red (played by Danny McBride) who is the middle guy selling this particular weed called the Pineapple Express. They are hunted down by members of the drug gang and aren’t quite smart enough to outrun them (because they are always stoned). There are car chases and shooting and lots and lots and lots of pot smoking, making some of the action very funny. The whole thing ends at the drug lord’s pot lair where there is a major shoot out with the waring Asian syndicate.

This is quite a different film for Rogan who, although often portrayed as a stoner in other films, has probably not seen this much action. He wrote the screenplay as well as taking the leading role with Franco. I don’t know how the guy has enough time in his life!

This film has been classified as comedy, action and crime. However, I have classified it as a Bromance as there is a lot of relationship issues going down between Dale and Saul who become BFFs, and later with Red who joins in. Dale has a girlfriend who plays a minor role, as the real relationship issues are between the boys. This is a fun watch and worth a go.

Get him to the Greek

Jonah Hill, Russell Brand, Rose Byrne, Elisabeth Moss

Aaron (played by Hill) has been assigned by his music company to collect temperamental UK rocker Aldous Snow from the band Infant Sorrow (played by Brand) and bring him to LA to play the Greek Theatre. It’s been a decade since Infant Sorrow played the Greek, and this gig will earn both Aaron and his company a lot of money.

Aldous wrote an incredibly bad song which sent his last album crashing. He is now a ‘has been’, but still has a lot of die-hard fans, including Aaron. Aaron believes in Aldous and they develop a relationship – a relationship that involves a lot of partying!

Aldous, you’ll remember, is the rock star character in the film Forgetting Sarah Marshall starring Jason Segal. Segal has written most of the Infant Sorrow songs in this film, as well as creating the characters.  Songs include “Gang of Lust”, “Going Up”, “Bangers, Beans and Mash”, “The Clap”, and the classic from Forgetting Sarah Marshall, “Inside of You”.

Support roles played by Elisabeth Moss (Aaron’s partner) and Rose Byrne (Aldous’ ex-partner) are excellent, especially Bryne as pop queen Jackie Q. Both guys explore issues with their respective relationships, but for Aldous, the relationship he needs to sort out is the one with himself.

This is a really funny movie, and we laughed out loud on both the viewings we had. Jonah Hill is great, and it’s refreshing to see him play a nice guy this time around. Highly recommend if you like movies like The Hangover.

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