Monday, October 27, 2014

Can we just set rom-coms on fire?

Ugh, you guys, this week I regret watching TV.

I made the terrible mistake of watching My Best Friend's Wedding today. I knew I didn't like this movie but I hadn't seen the whole thing all at once since it came out almost 20 years ago so I wanted to refresh my memory and I regret it.

Let me start by saying that there are two things that I do like about this move. First off, it's atypical for the genre in that it doesn't force feminine stereotypes and it is certainly not a happily-ever-after ending - kudos to Hollywood for messing with the genre. The second thing I like is a short scene between Julia Roberts and a young and unknown Paul Giamatti. Roberts' character is confronting her own misdeeds and the exchange that she has with Giamatti's young bellman is stark and pathetic and precisely the kind of thing that an actress like Julia Roberts never does in a movie like My Best Friend's Wedding and it's awesome. I love the reflection of that scene, an I love that a character in a rom-com is seriously blaming herself and her actions for the miserable situation she's created. It doesn't get foisted off on anyone else, she owns it, and I really admire that.

But seriously this movie is so fucking annoying. Dermont Mulroney is in it playing what I assume is basically himself because I've never seen Dermont Mulroney play anything but a smug, self-satisfied asshole who doesn't realize he's an asshole and is good-looking enough to come off as charming. Unless he's specifically in a role where he's supposed to be an unsympathetic dick I can't take it seriously and want to stab him with a fork. Cameron Diaz is Mulroney's shrill and overly conciliatory fiancee who's willing to drop out of college and follow him along for his objectively shitty job (yes being a print journalist can be fun, but if you were a 28 year old staff writer on a print paper with an uneducated wife in 1997 you would be 45 now and I'd be curious to see what your retirement plan looks like because you probably lost your job some time in 2007 - oh, wait, your uneducated wife is the daughter of a baseball team owner, so you married into your retirement plan and I kind of hate you). There's a musical number in a lobster restaurant that makes zero sense and turns the movie into a fantasy - but whoever is doing the fantasizing must hate themself and that's kind of sad.

Anyway, long story short, the movie is cute and simpering and does actually have a decent message (you make your own bed, you've got to lie in it) but is so sickeningly adorable that it is hard to care about the message when all you care about is getting away from the syrup pouring out of the screen. I don't think I'll be watching this again.

     - Alli

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