Monday, January 24, 2011

The Rom Com Man and Porn

I was at the gym on Sunday and without a trashy magazine to keep my brain from realizing how tired I was, I watched the last part of Two Weeks Notice with Sandra Bullock and Hugh Grant. And I liked that movie - the chemistry was a lot of fun between those two and I thought the set up was fantastic. But it made me think about what I've heard about Porn - that it's all about the women. And I think to some extent the Rom Com is the same thing - it's all about the female lead's character and comic timing and overall appeal. I think women in most Rom Com's get paid more - I'm probably wrong, but that's how it seems to me.

But for me - the effectiveness of the story arc and the romance, totally hinges on the guy. Hugh Grant in this case. That moment when they see the girl in a new light, their utter caddishness before - their black moment and grovel - for the story to really work - it's got to be about the guy. Matthew McConaghey is a total failure as a rom com lead because I don't believe anything about him but his chest. He is awful.

On the other hand, I watched a weird one this weekend (I need to be writing - I know) with Dane Cook called His Best Friend's Girl - and this guy is a huge a-hole, but watching him fall for Goldie Hawn's daughter whose name I can't remember - totally worked. Totally believable.

So, who works for you? I think it's pretty hard to beat Hugh Grant. That English reservedness coupled with the chemistry he usually has with his co actors - Love it. But who do you love? The Rom Com man - discuss...

23 comments:

Stephanie Doyle said...

See and I was just thinking how long it's been since I've seen a REALLY good Rom Com. And yes for me it is about the guy. Because as I see myself through the heroine's eyes - it's him I need to fall in love with.

Hugh always works for me. Although I wasn't crazy about him with Julia or Sandra. They were a little too BIG for someone as subtle. I like him Love Actually.

Ryan Reynolds is up there.

And I know it's kicking it old school... but give John Cuszack. He holds that boom box over his head... yep... still in love.

Maureen McGowan said...

Since I read this a few hours ago, I've been trying to think about a romantic comedy that had a unique or interesting heroine... Other than the ones based on Jane Austen novels, I can't think of any and it's bumming me out a little.
Even Clueless was a little about Paul Rudd for me. But that movie *was* about her... Same with Bridget Jones... But, well, Colin Firth was in that one.

I think Sandra Bullock in the recent movie with Ryan Reynolds, the name escapes me right now... was not a generic female rom-com character. But I really can't think of many.

Chevy Stevens said...

I love Hugh Grant. I think my favorite with him was "About a Boy."

Chevy Stevens said...

Maureen, you're thinking of "The Proposal" My issue with that movie was that she was basically playing the same character as she did in "While You Were Sleeping."

Chevy Stevens said...

Oh! I remember another one that I like! It's called "The Wedding Date." And it's one that I don't think hit big, but I love it for some reason. It has Dermot Mulroney and Debra Messing in it.

Eileen said...

Believe it or not . . . Matthew Perry with Selma Hayek in Fools Rush In or something like that.

You know who doesn't do it for me in rom coms? Gerard Butler. We watched The Bounty Hunter a while back. Blecchh. I was hoping for Jennifer Aniston to kick him in the balls.

Sinead M said...

Rom Com's can go horribly, horribly wrong... for example see Back up plan.
I liked Ryan Reynolds in Definitely Maybe, a really cute rom com turned a little upside down.

Stephanie Doyle said...

See now I didn't see the Bounty Hunter - because it just looked too awful.

When the previews aren't funny - not a good start.

But I did like Gerard with Katherine Heigle - can't remember the name. He's a male jerk trying to teach her how men think...

It was a little raunchy but I thought it had more depth than most.

Eileen said...

The Proposal didn't do it for me. This is probably terrible, but the age difference threw me off. I kept thinking that Sandra Bullock looks fabulous right now, but in ten years Ryan Reynolds was still going to be relatively young and she was going to be, well, not young.

I keep wondering if the age difference was reversed if it would still bug me. Probably at least a little, but maybe not as much.

Eileen said...

Ooh, I know which one you're talking about . . The Terrible Truth? Something like that?

It's so funny, but now that Molly points it out, I can see how true it is. They're ALL about a man being reformed by the love of a good woman (except The Proposal which was the opposite and that was what was supposed to make it so funny).

How about the Judd Apatow ones? Like Knocked Up? Same deal, right?

Chevy Stevens said...

Gerard Butler is AWFUL. Not crush worthy in my mind at all. It was okay in PS: I Love You. But in general, yeah, I also want to see him kicked in the balls. My hubby despises him as an actor. He was okay in 300, though. I mean, not that I have an opinion on this or anything....

Chevy Stevens said...

It was the "Ugly Truth."

I didn't like it, the ending especially.

Maureen McGowan said...

I liked Fools Rush In, too, Eileen! Perfect marriage of convenience story. (with a not-so-secret baby).

And Chevy, About a Boy is one of my favs.
Also really loved Definitely Maybe, but while I loved Gerard Butler in Dear Frankie, I HATED The Ugly Truth. Sorry Steph, we'll have to agree to disagree on that one. I found nothing appealing about his character in that movie (except his looks). I remember that movie being discussed passionately on twitter one evening while it was on TV. Sounds like it's a real love it or hate it one. Lots of people in both camps.

Stephanie Doyle said...

See Maureen - you forget. My downfall in life is to be attracted to arrogant assholes... Gerard filled that role for me spectacularly. The bigger a-hole he was - the more I was attracted. :)

I was iffy with the Proposal. Ryan was a little too perfect (see above).

But Chevy now that you mentioned it - PS I love you... = HARRY CONNICK!!!

The one nice man I know would love.

He does not do enough Rom Com's in my opinion. I would fall in love with him every single time.

Oh and I liked the Irish guy in the Irish movie with Amy Adams... Leapyear - I think it was.

But any guy with an Irish/English/Scottish accent will do it for me.

Eileen said...

I didn't see P.S. I LOVE YOU. I still feel like Cecilia Ahearn stole my widow cred since it came out around the same time as DO ME, DO MY ROOTS, but I had walked the damn walk and she had just been the daughter of a politician. Not that I'm bitter or anything. Not me.

Chevy Stevens said...

Okay, so I'm procrasinating ( can you tell?) and I looked up the top Rom Coms of all time. Here are my favorites.

Pretty in Pink
Serendipity ( Something about Jon Cusak)
Can't Buy Me Love ( and oldie but goodie)
Overboard ( Such a classic)
Kate and Leopold ( I love me some Hugh Jackman)
The Cutting Edge
27 Dresses (there were some dumb moments, but I got SUCH a crush on the male lead.Oh, and that singing in the bar scene. Sigh.)
Forgetting Sara Marshal ( From the man's perspective more. And I loved Russell Brand)
Made of Honor ( Some cute moments, some dumb ones, but it's another one that has the man as the lead)
Music and Lyrics ( Hugh Grant. Double sigh, even has a silly popstar)
About a Boy
Stardust
and as previously mentioned, "The Wedding Date."

Maureen McGowan said...

Oh, I get the bitter, Eileen. One of my best (and worst) rejections for my first WF ms came from an editor who said she loved it, but couldn't offer because of THE STARTER WIFE. Another spoiled penniless divorcee story written at the same time as mine, BUT she (author)was the wife of a Hollywood producer. How do you compete with that?

Maureen McGowan said...

Marry a hollywood producer, I guess. **Maureen answers her own question.** Must get on that.

Maureen McGowan said...

Chevy, that is an awesome list. :)

Molly O'Keefe said...

Say Anything is beyond romantic comedy - Cusak in all those early movies pretty much created the rom com hero - and therefore can not be judged.

Here's one - remember Paul Bellamy in Wimbeldon? or soemthing like that - I liked him in that.

Gerard Butler is AWFUL!! Amazing in Dear Frankie - AMAZING - but oh my lord the guy is too much a ham..

I liked Definetly MAybe too - Ryan Reynolds has a lot of appeal - he works for me.

Those Judd Apatow movies slay me - flawed but switching the POV makes for some good laughs and who doesn't love Paul Rudd? Honestly. Who? No one.

Chevy Stevens said...

Paul Rudd is adorable!And Jon Cusak has a wonderful quality about him. Ryan Reynolds is also one of my favorites. I've liked him ever since Van Wilder. And he's Canadian!

I forgot one off my list! Just Like Heaven with Reese Witherspoon. And I remember Wimbledon--It was great!

Simone St. James said...

Gerard Butler is indeed awful. Matthew McCaunaghey - when you wish someone with a body like that would just put a freaking shirt on, it's bad.

Actually the best rom com I've seen in years was I Love You Man. And it was about two dudes. What does that say about the state of the art form?

I will love Sandra Bullock forever just for Speed alone, and I have always irrationally adored Hugh Grant. Two Weeks Notice is my fave rom com of all time.

Cecilia Grant said...

I love that you've got "porn" in the post title. Way to rack up the blog hits!

I am extremely picky about romantic comedies, and for some reason I take it as an almost personal affront when I see a bad one. That recent one with Reese Witherspoon and Paul Rudd made me gnash my teeth.

One I wholeheartedly loved, though, was Notting Hill, with Hugh Grant in love with Julia Roberts. It was like a Cinderella story where the guy was the Cinderella, and Grant's mannerisms, which often drive me up the wall, really worked in that context. Plus I loved his circle of friends. You could see what he had that she, the has-it-all movie star, wished she could share in.

(And let me just say, having once dated a guy who was fond of the grand gesture, that boombox-over-the-head stuff gets really old really fast. Give me someone steady and dependable, with a life of his own, any day.)

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