Well, this time out, my heart is just not into it. Given the ongoing health crisis and other continuing disasters in our country right now, that style of humor feels a bit too bleak for me right now.
Not to mention that with movie houses being shut down(glad to see the drive-in theater coming back at least) and major films having their offline/online release dates pushed back -even as far as two years from now in some cases!-this is a much needed yet not easy to bear pop culture sacrifice for the greater good.
However, that doesn't mean I won't have a movie themed series for LRG this summer. For the first time ever, we are proud to present RomCom Comfort Food in August, with a selection of films straight out of my personal DVD library that I haven't see in quite some time. This feels like an excellent excuse to revisit these lovelorn laugh fests and maybe a couple of them are your favorites as well(two of them are Jane Austen related!):
Heading home that summer, there was nothing more American than watching this delightful tale of Toula(Nia Vardalos, who also wrote the screenplay), a woman in her thirties trying to balance her relationship with her large and lovingly loud family with dreams of a different life.
Pursuing her own happiness, she falls in love with Ian(John Corbett), a sweet natured school teacher who is more than happy to get along with Toula's huge set of relatives as long as he gets to be with the woman he loves.
We have Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson as executive producers here to thank for this charming take on the wedding story(yes, much good comes from them both!). While a short lived sitcom and a many years later sequel didn't fare as well as the original film, this engaging sleeper hit still stands the test of time:
Saying that Emma was the old school version of this 1995 hit movie did sell a few copies(then again, I also told teenage customers that Northanger Abbey was a good companion piece to the Scream slasher movie series) and to be fair, writer/director Amy Heckerling did a great job in making that classic novel fit into a Beverly Hills high school setting.
Another benefit to the durability of this film is the chemistry between Alicia Silverstone as Cher, the dippy diva of her social set and Paul Rudd as Josh, her former stepbrother who still checks in on her and Mel, the cranky yet lovable dad well played by Dan Hedaya. There is a remake being planned yet that does seem like a truly clueless idea, if you ask me:
This film happens to be written by Richard Curtis, who also wrote the hit romcom Four Weddings and a Funeral(which also has Hugh Grant romancing an American, Andie MacDowell) and I while appreciate his writing, I vastly prefer NH over 4WAAF any day of the week.
For one, I love the connection that Grant's even toned character makes with Robert's celebrity seeking a semblance of regular life, a world that both of the actors are very familiar with and yet don't feel as if they're being major league meta about this story. Instead, we get a smartly written romance delivered with fine British comedy flavor:
While I can't remember the name of the theater, I do recall the fun we had watching this blend of "Bollywood meets Hollywood", courtesy of Jane Austen and Gurinder Chadha, the director and co-writer who made her cinematic mark a couple of years earlier with Bend It Like Beckham.
A romcom musical is truly a decadent delight, with the Pride and Prejudice themes being the extra sprinkles on this singalong sundae. While Aishwarya Rai is more than a match as Lalita(Elizabeth Bennet) for co-star Martin Henderson's Darcy, that doesn't throw the story off at all. Rather, it gives this internationally known leading lady her rightfull spotlight to showcase her amazing talents:
Well, I do hope all of you will join me in some romcom relief this summer and who knows, this may become a regular LRG feature, we shall see. While being part of a shared experience is what makes going to the movies so magical, hopefully it won't be too long before we can all gather together with our favorite cinema snacks in hand to enjoy a good film and feel safe. Until then, let us share some comfort with each other while remaining apart: