The Romantic Comedy Hall of Shame!

Last night I saw “Something’s Gotta Give,” starring Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton. It ended in a genre cliche that I HATE! :mad: It drives me nuts to see such movies end with the girl throwing over a guy who’s been good to her, appreciates her, loves her, etc., for some other guy who somehow has an illogical quality of romance but no similar track record to speak of. Well, this thread is for bashing movies that honor this sick trend. My bottom-feeding three:

  1. The above-mentioned Something’s Gotta Give. Harry Sanborn (Jack Nicholson), after accepting several days’ hospitality…including sex…from Erica Barry (Diane Keaton), walks away from her, goes back to a life of screwing younger women, says nothing to her for months, causing her to go into a weeks-long sobbing fit. In comes Julian (a surprisingly good Keanu Reeves), once stood up by her for Harry, with a loving, forgiving heart, respect for her based on a thorough appreciation for her life’s achievements and, quite frankly, much better looks…and just as he’s about to propose marriage to her in a Paris restaurant, Harry walks in and Erica is starry-eyed over him again.

Still, though, she clearly enjoyed sex with Harry, and had some sort of genuine rapport with him. A level of absurdity above that is:

  1. Serendipity. Sarah Thomas (Kate Beckinsdale) and Jonathan Trager (John Cusack) meet while shopping, and click. But they’re both currently seeing someone, and Sarah is not sure she’d break that off. So they attempt a test of fate, setting up a token of luck that would indicate that the cosmos mean them to be together. Years pass, and both of them are on the verge of getting married, when they decide they need to give “luck” a helping hand. Sure enough, they end up finding, just before they are about to get married to people that we have no reason to think were ever bad to them, the signs that they were meant to be together in the first place. Bye-bye years of devotion and plans to spend lives together, hello, one-night crush supported by wild coincidence.

Still, if one believes in fate (and as an Orthodox Jew, I can’t say I disbelieve it entirely, but not in the way it’s presented in that movie), maybe one would be prudent to place great stock in such omens. That, at least, makes more sense than:

  1. Sleepless in Seattle. Annie Reed (Meg Ryan), engaged to marry Walter (Bill Pullman), falls head over heels for Sam Baldwin’s (Tom Hanks) VOICE AND SOB STORY ON THE FREAKING RADIO! Over the course of the movie, we see Walter as respecting her opinion on things, spontaneously romantic…the only thing the movie can say negative about him is that he seems to have constant allergic post-nasal drip. Yet we’re expected to cheer as all his good treatment loses out to Annie’s fantasy of An Affair To Remember and her pity for a lonely guy three thousand miles away who SHE ONLY KNOWS BY VOICE? And not even a voice talking to her!!! (Oh, yes, the guy’s kid likes her letter. That makes all this sensible, doesn’t it. :rolleyes: )

OK, that’s my rant. Anyone else care to pile on?

That’s why I didn’t like the ending of Spider-Man 2.

Sure, I thing Peter and MJ should be together, but that doesn’t mean that she’s anything less than a total cunt for leaving that poor guy at the alter. Whta did he ever do to her to deserve that treatment? After being portarayed throughout the movie as a nice, honest, loving guy, whose only fault was that he was slightly less than a superhero (only an astraunaut, which means he had to work for his skills), the least he deseved was an explanation and a chance to present his case. Frankly, I believe that once you reach the actual wedding day, the only honorable thing to do is go through with the wedding, spend an indifferent year of marriage and have an amicable divorce. True love is important, but it doesn’t trump basic human decency.

Alessan, don’t worry. Most likely, John Jameson (the jilted fiance) will become a villain in Spider-Man 3 (possibly Venom, according to rumors) and get his revenge.


Why? Eddie Brock’s already a character in the franchise. If that happens, I’ll be more than a little annoyed. There’s no point to it.[/SPOILER]

In Sweet Home Alabama, Reece Witherspoon’s character dumps her wonderfully romantic fiance for her ex – whom she’s still technically married to. In fact, her character only returns home to Alabama in order to press him to sign the papers. Nothing about that movie made any sense – humble, even humble and southern origins are not a scandalous badge of ignominy to be denied or covered up in today’s celebrity culture; politicians and their families don’t act like Candace Bergen’s OTT scheming and malicious mother-in-law-to-be; Reece’s character is hysterically rude and screechy, mistreating everyone with derision and disregard, and blatantly uses her gay friend; and her long-abandoned hubby (Josh Lucas) proves not only to have the patience and forgiveness of a saint, but is revealed in the final reel to be a quietly unassuming artiste in his own right – who woulda thunk it? Plus, the movie overuses the Lynard Skynard song.

Movies named after songs usually suck anyway, and when they’re 30-year-old, overplayed, hokey songs, well, you’re in trouble.

I wish that made sense. She should’ve married him when she wanted to be with someone else in order to avoid embarrassing him? I thought it was pretty obvious she was only with him because she couldn’t be with Peter or to get back at him. Sucks to be Jameson, but marrying him out of obligation doesn’t fix anything.

I’m gonna pick Someone Like You…
To begin with, it’s kind of embarrassing to see Hugh Jackman in such a bland romantic comedy role. He’s Wolverine, for fuck’s sake, he’s too cool for this! Men deserve to have a few icons who are not poisoned by these kinds of crap movies. Secondly, there’s everything else about the movie. :stuck_out_tongue: The whininess of Ashley Judd’s character (I know, a bad Ashley Judd movie, what a shock!), the stupidity of the things she writes and says which otherwise set off the story, and a plot that goes beyond by-the-numbers into some whole other realm of retarded obviousness.

I recently watched Annie Get Your Gun and was highly annoyed by it. It is the story (loosely speaking) of Annie Oakley, Frank Butler, etc. Annie falls desparately in love with Frank the minute they met. He’s a self-absorbed womanizer who is too old for her. She is illiterate and easily manipulated with stars in her eyes and is an incredible shot. Annie cleans herself up and bleaches away her freckles (with lemon juice) in a effort to get Frank to notice her. She even practices her shooting tricks, not understanding that Frank can’t stand not to be the best shot/center of attention. Frank stays behind as the Wild West Show goes to Europe. Annie misses him, and he comes to meet Annie after they return to the U.S. In the end, they sing the song “Anything you can do, I can do better” and agree to a shooting competition. When Annie loses (thanks to some deforming of her gun barrels- as a magic love potion) they agree to get married. One wonders if the marriage will be happy once (if) Frank figures out that Annie is the better shot.
I enjoyed most of the songs- which I was already familar with, but hated the plot and many of the characterizations.

Actually, she behaved that way throughout the movie, so, her behavior did suck, but it was the steady, consistent suckage of a leech slowly draining the life out of the poor guy, not the sudden, deadly whiplash of being drained by a starving vampire.

My vote goes for Liar, Liar.

Not only that, but when her fiance finds out that she’s returning “home”, he doesn’t bat an eye but is instantly warm, forgiving, and non-resentful.

Hated this movie.

I would add Daddy Long Legs, but won’t go into detail since it is slated as the next topic of discussion in the Dopers Musical Lovers Appreciation Series.

I had the same thought about the movie – and also the same “nah, let’s wait and talk about this tomorrow” thought.

I just remembered one.

I’ve not seen it (and refuse to even though I *like * romantic comedies) but the trailers I’ve seen for Little Black Book annoy the hell out of me.

Brittany Murphy (who’s annoying in the first place) plays some sort of psychotic stalker type character that uses her boyfriend’s PDA to track down and practically interrogate all his exes, even going so far as to visit one (a gynecologist) as a patient and set up a fake interview for another just to get some dirt on them. There’s at least one other girl that they show crying at some point because of something that Murphy’s character did.

At no point do they even so much as hint that the boyfriend is any sort of jerk and we’re supposed to feel *sympathetic * with this woman?! She’s the protagonist?!

Advertisements usually don’t evoke any sort of emotion in me other than vague interest or apathy but this one has come close to literally making me angry. What a bitch.

I nominate America’s Sweethearts – John Cusak is in it, so I want to believe that it really is as clever as it thinks it is, but it’s really, really not. It’s painful to watch this movie trying to parody the RomCom genre while still falling in to the trap of being a movie about two essentially unlikable people. Only this one is making fun of all the other unlikable people around them while making fat jokes about Julia Roberts eating pancakes, so gee, it must be a brilliant parody. Har har har.

The Wedding Planner – Ugh. UGH. Leaving aside the issue of JLo and Matthew McConaughey (Fug, the both of them.) Why is it that the lovers in so many crappy romantic comedies are already in relationships and wind up leaving their SOs at the last possible second? It’s like Hollywood thinks we couldn’t possibly respect a character who was single for more than 45 seconds. (And that’s with the taxi getting stuck in traffic, forcing our intrepid lover to run the last five blocks.) This one has both of them leaving their weddings to other people so they can “romantically” hook up at the end.

And I’m so on board with the suckitude of Sleepless in Seattle. So many people I know just love this movie, and I simply cannot wrap my head around it – Meg Ryan’s character is totally off her nut! And a total bitch to Bill Pullman! The proper ending of this movie should be Meg realizing she loves the movie, not any real person, and going home to watch it again and again, doing that really annoying thing where people say their favorite lines along with the tape, forever, or until she’s found fused to her couch. God, what a head case. You’ve Got Mail has exactly the same problem – “Oh, you’ve manipulated me since the moment we first met without a thought for the emotional distress you’ve put me through, and put me out of a job, and pretended to befriend me only as a ruse to continue playing with my emotions! How I love you!” Does she just not know that actually, that makes him an asshole? It was stupid when Jimmy Stewart did 1940 it to Margaret Sullivan in The Shop Around the Corner, and it’s even more stupid for Tom Hanks to do it to Meg Ryan in 1998. It’s 58 years later – haven’t we learned that lies and manipulation aren’t the best foundation for a relationship? (Oh, and the modern addition? They both are in relationships at the beginning!) Hate.

Much of this is the same thing that bothered me about Titanic (yes, yes, I know, everybody’s going to say “that’s the only thing that bothered you about Titanic?”) - so this woman at the ripe old age of, what, nineteen? meets a guy, falls in love with him, he dies. She spends the vast majority of her life married to some other man who we presume is a nice guy that she loved, but screw him, it’s all about Jack? About her childish three day romance? “Heaven” or whatever is Mr. Crush from high school? What about her husband, the father of her children, who married her presumably without her discarded family name and theoretical (absent) assets? Argh!

They did this a hell of a lot back in the middle part of the last century.

My Fair Lady ugh!

I don’t remember it being as blatant but I didn’t buy Some Like It Hot either.

“Robert Kincaid, paging Mr. Robert Kincaid.”

:confused: I fail to see how SLIH relates to the theme/gripe of the OP in any way.

I haven’t seen it (and won’t see it) either, but I have read spoiler-filled reviews that suggest it may not be all bad:

She gets her pay-back at the end, when she realizes that the “friend” who’d been encouraging her to do this in the first place (Holly Hunter) was actually manipulating her the whole time in order to get material for a Ricki Lake-type talk show. In the end, the protagonist loses everything – her boyfriend, her “dignity,” and the friendship of the ex-girlfriends she started to realize were actually not bad people at all. I don’t know (and probably never will) if there’s a sudden last-minute happy ending in there, but it didn’t sound like it.

On the other hand, for a movie that was absolutely deplorable in just about every other way, My Best Friend’s Wedding had a pretty good ending. If nothing else, it acknowledged that your typical romantic comedy manipulative stuff is just creepy and gross in real life. I would’ve been happier had it ended with Julia Roberts’ getting decapitated by a stray piece of automotive glass, or perhaps crushed under some masonry or beset by flesh-eating bacteria, but you can’t have everything.

But don’t forget, he had allergies. That makes him totally unsuitable as a husband.

Actually, I found An Affair to Remember much worse than Sleepless in Seattle (which blatantly copied from it). It was silly to have Deborah Kerr hit by a taxi so she couldn’t make the appointment, but why the hell doesn’t she tell him about it?

City of Angels was turgid, but became absolutely ridiculous when they went to an ending so ridiculous that it was the basis of a National Lampoon article twenty years earlier:

Suddenly, she got run over by a truck!

An we were supposed to take it seriously!

Ralph Belamy made a career playing this part, starting in “His Girl Friday” and even in a out-ant-out “guy” flick “The Professionals,” when Claudia Cardinale dumps him for Jack Palance.