I have been a huge fan of the flick Heartbreakers since I first saw it at the drive in. It’s a funny, engaging movie that I always enjoy. Weaver and Jennifer Love Hewitt costar as a mother-daughter con team. They seduce rich men for their money. Things become more complicated than normal when one ex catches on (the always sexy Ray Liotta) and JLH falls for a seemingly poor bartender (Jason Lee) while they are trying to trick a totally gross Gene Hackman.
As a nerd who attends conventions myself I’ve always been a fan of Galaxy Quest. Although I’m not a Trekkie, (what the film is obviously spoofing) I still go gaga over meeting celebs at cons. This movie stars Weaver, Tim Allen, Alan Rickman, Tony Shalhoub, Sam Rockwell, Daryl Mitchell, Enrico Colantoni and a young Justin Long. It’s about a group of actors from a space show called Galaxy Quest. When they re-unite to earn some dough at a sci-fi convention they accidentally end up being abducted by real aliens. Of course comedy and action ensues.
Yes, Working Girl is Melanie Griffith’s movie. She’s the up and coming secretary who wants to be a real businesswoman. Plus the sexalicious Harrison Ford costars. Yet every scene that Weaver is in she seems to steal. Weaver stars as Griffith’s seemingly encouraging boss that she really looks up to. Well, that is, until Weaver steal Griffith’s idea. That’s when Griffith must impersonate the tough as nails Weaver (who is away on vacation and then recuperating from an accident during said vacation) and accidentally start seeing Weaver’s man (yep, Ford!).
As you may know I have a penchant for the films of 50 Cent. Usually they are exploitation style crime dramas with lots of guns and an awesome sex scene. However with All Things Fall Apart Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson went for something wildy different. For that I commend him.
If you keep up with the celeb gossip then you’ve probably seen photos from this flick which had been dubbed, “the football cancer movie” more than once. During the filming a ton of photos were released showing how 50 had committed to the role by losing a ton of weight. They were quite shocking.
Normally I wouldn’t be up for a sports related movie but I really wanted to see this drama. The movie was co-written by 50 and directed by Mario Van Peebles (who also costars as 50’s dad). The most glaring thing about the movie is, obviously, that 50 Cent is now in his late 30s playing a college football star. But hell I totally understand his motivation. I would want to play the starring role in a movie like this if I were making it.
Being a drama there isn’t a bunch of out and out fun like other flicks in his repertoire. There is one thing that I want to share because I did chuckle. This movie hits you over the head with foreshadowing. The most prevalent use of it is when we see 50 in a variety of hats covering his dreads. Knowing what the plot is when going in you can tell this is to starkly contrast with him later losing his hair from chemo. However it’s still sort of funny that they used so many and at times I wondered if they were in fact attached to his wig and the whole thing was jimmy rigged to stay in place.
In All Things Fall Apart 50 is the Big Man On Campus. He’s a football star. Pussy comes easy, grades come easy (in fact he has a scholarship but doesn’t really attend class much) and he’s a local celebrity.
His parents are not well off. His mother runs a bar and is a caterer while his father runs an auto shop. However they are counting on him to get picked up by a pro team. Then they will be set. So all of that is riding on his shoulders.
His bro is the shy, nerdy type who actually gets called Urkel on occasion. Things come so easy for 50 that he seemingly accidentally, well at first, picks up his bro’s crush for himself. I won’t really be discussing her cuz yeah, not a fan of that character. No, these brothers do not get along.
When 50 is diagnosed with cancer their oncologist (Ray Liotta) tries to be optimistic with them but his parents want to be overly so. All of the sudden he’s super ill and having an identity crisis. He’s no longer a star, people don’t even recognize him. He’s lost his scholarship and hasn’t earned any credits due to his previous goofing off. It’s almost like he’s a ghost of his former self. Even at the family dinner table he feels an outcast since he can’t really eat because of the treatments.
His brother has to give him a reality check on how the whole family has actually been living. Now they are really scraping to make ends meet. 50’s medical bills are really taking a toll on the whole family financially and emotionally. In fact the dad moves out because he’s a dick can’t take it. His bro basically tries to tell 50 to get his act together.
So 50 sleeps in a cardboard box outside of his father’s auto shop. His dad tries to hire him to help out. 50’s just not good at it though. He feels downtrodden. But he also gives him some advice, “you can sell shit Deon, that’s a legit skill”. You see in another earlier bit of foreshadowing 50 got the price jacked up on a car his dad was trying to unload. This comes in handy since another job offer that he’d had was just lip service.
50 decides to go groveling to his bro who is now working at a car lot. He literally gets down on his knees and begs. But his bro still isn’t over that whole living in his shadow thing and says he couldn’t even if he wanted to. So instead of giving up 50 takes a chance and sells a car right outside, without being hired, on the spot. The cowboy doesn’t even need a test drive. That’s how swell a salesman he is.
Things are falling back together. 50’s rolling in the dough. He even manages to donate to his own charity jar at his mom’s bar (aw, so sweet). Plus he doubles the companies sales in the process earning his bro a promotion. Now they can finally be pals.
But it can’t all stay rosy. He does, after all, have cancer. So when 50 starts feeling ill he goes in for some honest advice from his doc, my man Ray Liotta. Liotta takes him outside of the hospital for a completely honest heart to heart that this hospital can never know went down. You see 50 has 9K saved up right now. Liotta gives it to him straight. 50 doesn’t have long. If he goes back in for treatments it will put his family back in the hole for at least 100K, plus he will live out his last days hooked up to medical BS. Liotta illustrates this with a story of an early patient of his.
At this point there really is only one option, partay! Seriously though 50 decides, to as his weed addled friend (who also planned the party, “I’ve always been the entrepreneurial type, how else was I gonna pay for my weed?”) tells a singer, “I think he just wants to go out on top”, with a fun white party ala something you’d see from Puff Daddy. Shut up, you know you’ve always want to go to one of those too. He tricks his mom by making her think she’s just catering. Sike! You and dad are so getting back together! It is pretty great. He ends up making amends with his whole family.
All in all I do recommend All Things Fall Apart. It doesn’t totally hit the mark authenticity wise. It’s a bit over dramatic. But I think that they did a very good job all in all. I think that a lot of heart and hard work went into this movie. 50 and many of the other actors give very heartfelt, impassioned performances. His character even has a pretty good arc. I mean he goes from just having it easy and being oblivious, to down and out and then to a full man. I find it sad that it only had a limited theatrical run.
Disclosure: This film was provided to me courtesy of Image Entertainment but that doesn’t effect my views on it.
The film was written by David Wain and Ken Marino (who’s also in the movie) and directed by David Wain. It stars Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd. The above photo and poster and were selected from David Wain’s blog. You can see more here on my Childrens Hospital tumblr.
Observe and Report is a dark comedy about a security guard at a mall who decides that he wants to become a police officer when he sees the opportunity to prove himself. This occurs when a flasher targets his mall. The film stars Seth Rogen, Ray Liotta and Anna Faris.
You can click the screencaps to see the larger versions.
Female Reporter: “I’m standing here at Forest Ridge Mall where earlier today a man exposed himself to several women before fleeing the scene. I’m here with Ronnie Barnhardt, one of the security guards here at the mall…” Ronnie: “No, cut. Uh, you fucked up, ma’am, I’m the head of mall security you should do that again and say it right” Female Reporter: “Uh, well Officer Barnhardt” Ronnie: “Action” Female Reporter: “Right, uh, is there any information you can shed on this situation?” Ronnie: “You’re just gonna keep goin’ even though you fucked up my title?” Female Reporter: (nods) Ronnie: “Okay, well I’m standing here with this doctor”
Ronnie: “Everyone thinks they’re fine until someone puts something in them they don’t want in them”
Ronnie: “…it’s actually kinda my job to put myself in harm’s way to protect weaker people such as yourself who are you know cripped in the leg and what not…”
Ronnie: “…it’s clear that this pervert is some kind of sociopathic genius who plans on coming back here and finishing what he started, by murdering Brandi” Brandi: “Oh my god, is that gonna happen? Is that true?” Ronnie: “It’s gonna happen” Detective Harrison: “No, it’s not gonna happen” Ronnie: “He’s gonna murder you Brandi”
Ronnie: “Race has nothing to do with this, you fit the profile…” Saddamn: “My dick is brown you dumb motherfucker”
Saddamn: “…last week he comes here and tells me he knows that he’s discovered my plot to blow up the Chick-fil-A. Why the fuck would I blow up Chick-fil-A? It’s fucking delicious”
Nell: “…but I think you should know that there’s no shame in going after what your dreams, so few people do it and I think you should keep doing it, no matter how many people laugh at you” Ronnie: “Who’s laughing at me? No one laughs at me, if anything I laugh at other idiots who are tryin’ do what they want, no one laughs at me for trying to do my destiny, not how this works…”
Police Officer: “…he’s probably gonna get killed” Detective Harrison: “Good, I hope he does get killed, fuck him, I don’t care, I’m telling you, I hate this guy”
Mom: “You know I remember when your father picked me up for our first date. I swear he was the most handsome man I’d ever laid eyes on, I knew right then and there that I would fuck him that night and that I would end up marrying him.” Ronnie: “I sure hope that happens to me tonight.”
Ronnie: “Do you think it was my fault that dad left?” Mom: “Definitely”
Ronnie: “Wow, that was impressive, you, I like to drink fast too so”
Ronnie: “So Brandi, I’m just dying to know, how much do you love working at this mall?” Brandi: “Oh god, I hate that shit…”
Brandi: “Oh my god, where did you get these?” (looking at pill bottle) “Clonazepam, that’s some good shit, I’m impressed. I did not think you partied like that” Ronnie: “God do I ever party, I party like this every 4 to 6 hours”
Brandi: (doing a shot of tequila) “Oh my god, it burns so good”
(in bed during sex she seems to be sleeping so he stops) Brandi: “Why are you stopping motherfucker?” Ronnie: “I’m sorry, oh god I’m sorry”
Mom: (to Dennis) “You know when Ronnie was, um, in high school I used to fuck all his friends”
Ronnie: “…unfortunately, no this picture of a penis does not cheer me up”
Dennis: “Ronnie, please can you take the dick off your face?”
Ronnie: “…finding out whose penis that is is my last shot at redemption”
Mom: “…try to look on the bright side, you may not be the smartest person in the world but you’re handsome from certain angles…”
Mom: “I just want you to know I’m ready to make a change” Ronnie: “You’re gonna stop drinking?” Mom: “I’m switching to beer, I can pound those all day and still keep my shit together and I’m doing it for you” Ronnie: “I’m so proud of you mom”
Ronnie: “and if anyone here wants a girl to have sex with you and then fuck your enemy go to Brandi cuz she’s the girl that does that”
Ronnie: “I want everyone to know Ronnie Barnhardt caught the pervert, not the fuckin’ police”
First of all, let’s just say it, most romantic comedies are not that funny. They can still be fun/depressing to watch. Often they are a great guilty pleasure. So kick back with one of these and a giant tub of ice cream the next time you get dumped (kidding, romantic comedy cliche).
The big difference between a romantic comedy and a romantic drama is in the drama one of the main characters usually dies. Many times the studios even try to market a romantic drama as a romantic comedy to increase the box office. We shall try to avoid those in this case. Also, independent comedies are usually pretty heavy and not really “comedies” either. Don’t get me wrong I’m a fan of a lot of independent movies but they will not be light.
Just click the titles to go directly to them on Netflix.
Beautiful Girls (1996) (Available Until June 1, 2016) “So you’re the little neighborhood Lolita.”
“So you’re the alcoholic high school buddy shit for brains.”
Beautiful Girls is a great film. I hadn’t watched in a while and couldn’t believe how well it had held up. However I’m still not sure if I should put it here because it may be considered more dramatic but there is dark humor but it’s not super dark. The film is about Timothy Hutton’s character who is conflicted and visits his family. While he is there he develops feelings for his teen neighbor Natalie Portman because she has her whole life ahead of her. He always spends a lot of time with his friends. All of them have their own problems and all of their characters are really fleshed out, which is often ignored in a film like this. The film costars Lauren Holly, Michael Rappaport, Mira Sorvino, Matt Dillon, Uma Thurman and Rosie O’Donnell.
My Date With Drew (2003) (Available Until November 1, 2012)
This is actually a pseudo-documentary by Brian Herzlinger. He wants to make a documentary about the search for love but he knows that he needs a hook to get it sold once it’s made. The hook becomes taking Drew Barrymore out on a date. Will he get through to meet her and will he meet the woman of his dreams? Well, you can probably figure those things out by the fact that it got made. It does have a little twist part way through. I recommend this if you enjoy movies about making movies.
Big (1988) (Available Until July 17, 2012)
I’m sure that you’ve seen Big before. Tom Hanks is a young boy who just wants to get childhood over with so he can be a grown up. Somehow once he magically grows up (thanks Zoltar) he is basically handed success on a plate. It’s a cute fantasy film but there is a, slightly creepy, love story in there too. The film costars Elizabeth Perkins and David Moscow.
Intern (2000) (Available Until June 30, 2012)
I was a huge fan of the Jeremy Irons’ version of Lolita back when it was released and thought that Dominique Swain was fantastic in it. Ever since then I have tried to keep up with seeing all of her films. Intern is definitely one of my favorites. She stars as an intern at a fashion magazine who is just trying to keep everything together and maybe get together with a guy, who of course, usually dates little models. The film costars Ben Pullen, Joan Rivers, Kathy Griffin, Paulina Porizkova, James Urbaniak and Andre Leon Talley.
Loser (2000) (Available Until June 1, 2012)
After the success of American Pie Jason Biggs was often cast as an amiable loser. This is a great example of that. He’s a nice, small town guy who comes to New York to attend college but doesn’t fit in with his hard partying, raping roommates. He also falls for the ‘I’m so different because I’m poor but wear Lip Service’ Mena Suvari who is in love with her professor Greg Kinnear (he was everywhere back then). The film was written and directed by Amy Heckerling of Clueless fame.
Two yuppie New Yorkers who are in the process of a divorce witness a murder and end up having to hide out in a country setting. I actually rented this movie expecting it to be truly terrible and that I’d be able to get a laugh out of it. It’s actually enjoyable though. It is very formulaic (fish out of water) but charming. It was fun to see Mary Steenburgen and Sam Elliott as the couple who take them in. The most distracting thing is the aging of the 2 leads, Sarah Jessica Parker and Hugh Grant, but no one gets to stay young forever unless you have a painting of yourself stashed away somewhere.
New In Town (2009)
Renee Zellweger is a know it all business woman who goes to freezing Minnesota to run a factory. Harry Connick Jr. relunctantly falls for her. This is more on the okay side but if you need a Zellweger fix it can do in a pinch.
I highly recommend this made for TV movie. Jennifer Love Hewitt stars as Katya, a wannabe socialite who actually gets by using credit and lies. Her main goal at the time is to go to a big party but the girl who is throwing it (for good reason) is excluding her. Plus she has to try to keep her new scheming assistant from showing her up at work. Joey Lawrence plays her gay bestie. She falls for a really hot guy but there are complications.
Maid in Manhattan (2002) (not currently available)
If you want to see a Jennifer Lopez romantic comedy you probably really want to watch The Wedding Planner but when that isn’t available you can watch this in its place. Lopez is a maid at a fancy hotel who, in a case of mistaken identity, starts seeing the wealthy Ralph Fiennes character. They don’t have the best chemistry and her precocious child is annoying but the fashion and supporting cast are pretty good. The film costars Chris Eigeman, Amy Sedars, Frances Conroy, Stanley Tucci, Natasha Richardson and Bob Hoskins.
The Importance of Being Earnest (2002) (not currently available) “To lose one parent, Mr. Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune. To lose both looks like carelessness.”
I’m a huge fan of Oscar Wilde so I have seen most of the film adaptations of his plays. The plot is about mistaken identity and betrothal and is set in the 1890’s. I recommend anything Wilde related for the dialogue. This version of The Importance of Being Earnest has a great cast that includes Rupert Everett, Colin Firth, Frances O’Connor, Judi Dench, Tom Wilkinson and Reese Witherspoon. I haven’t watched this in a while but I recall thinking that Witherspoon didn’t do well at playing Cecily.
Someone Like You (2001) (not currently available) “You’re so easy to talk to, unlike my current cow”
It took me a while to actually watch this movie after it came out. The ads that included a then teeny tiny Ashley Judd running around doing cheers in her underwear while eating ice cream didn’t draw me in. However after I caught it on TV I reluctantly became a fan. Judd is a wannabe writer who works on a talk show (this was a popular career choice for female leads in romantic comedies for quite a while). After she is jilted by yet another jerk in her life, the then (everyone thought) poised for stardom Greg Kinnear, she starts obsessively studying love and sex in nature and comes up with the ‘New Cow’ theory. She starts writing about this using a pseudonym of an older female PHD. She also becomes roommates with Hugh Jackman’s man whore character. She assumes that since she now knows everything about male behavior that he won’t be tempting. All hell turns loose when people want to know more about her alter ego. The film costars Marisa Tomei as her more naive best friend. The film is based on the book Animal Husbandry by Laura Zigman.
Excess Baggage (1997) (not currently available)
When Alicia Silverstone was on top of the world career wise she had her own company, First Kiss Productions. This was the big film that she decided to put out under it. Unfortunately this film and the, at first look, similar A Life Less Ordinary were both released around the same time and both were panned by critics. It’s a shame because I enjoyed both films. Silverstone plays a pampered rich girl who, just wanting her dad’s attention, tries to arrange a fake kidnapping of herself but then is accidently actually kidnapped by a, really hot at the time, Benicio Del Toro. The film costars Christopher Walken and Harry Connick Jr.
Fools Rush In (1997) (not currently available)
Growing up my sister and I were both a big fan of this Matthew Perry vehicle. He is a hapless architect who meets the hot Salma Hayek waiting outside of a bathroom in a Mexican restaurant and, of course, has sex with her that night. Later when she shows up pregnant they decide that instead of just paying her alimony, like in real life, they are going to get married and raise this kid together. So they adorably try to mesh their culture and long distance lives. His love of Gray’s Papaya actually caused my sister and I to look all over for one once while were were visiting NYC but we gave up when we could only find Papaya King.
In & Out (1997) (not currently available)
A drama teacher questions his sexuality during his engagement to a woman when a former student outwittingly outs him. In & Out has always gotten a bad rap because it came out in the late ’90s so people have always said that it was ridiculous that the lead character (played by the always amazing Kevin Kline) is only now, realizing that he is gay even though he is older. This is because people wrongly assume that everywhere is like NYC and LA but it’s not. Gay people in my small town freaking hide most of the time. That being said there is definitely some silly, ridiculous stuff in this but it’s a ’90s comedy, what do you expect? The film costars Tom Selleck, Joan Cusack, Matt Dillon, Debbie Reynolds and Lauren Ambrose.
Sprung (1996) (not currently available)
I haven’t watched this movie in a long time but I remember thinking that it is odd, cute and funny. It’s about dating and the differences between men and women. The film stars Tisha Campbell-Martin.
One Fine Day (1996) (not currently available)
Ah, the ’90s when George Clooney was trying to get into our panties with his smile, instead of trying to bore us to tears by teaching us things we don’t care about. It’s a movie about two single, professional parents who meet through their children. The film also stars Michelle Pfeiffer.
I.Q. (1994) (not currently available)
I’ve always been fond of I.Q. despite it’s PGness and it having to do with Einstein (as played by Walter Matthau). Meg Ryan plays the niece of Einstein and Tim Robbins is the dim cutie that Einstein tries to get her together with.
I Love You To Death (1990) (not currently available)
I Love You To Death works because of the huge ensemble cast, Kevin Kline, Tracey Ullman, River Phoenix, William Hurt, Keanu Reeves, Victoria Jackson and Heather Graham. Kevin Kline character is a cheating jerk who runs a pizza parlor. His wife is sick of his cheating and wants him dead. Luckily she doesn’t have to try to do this all on her own since River Phoenix’s character is head over heels about her.
It’s great that they have this streaming because Loverboy is my favorite young Patrick Dempsey movie. If you only have time to watch one film about a young, gigolo pizza boy this is your movie. The film costars Kate Jackson, Dylan Walsh, Kirsite Alley and Carrie Fisher.
When Harry Met Sally (1989) (not currently available) “How long do you like to be held after sex? All night, right? See, that’s your problem. Somewhere between 30 seconds and all night is your problem.
“I don’t have a problem.”
“Yes, you do.”
This is a true classic and I’m still a little surprised that you can actually find it via Netflix Streaming. Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal star in Rob Reiner and Nora Ephron’s flick about a couple of people who seemingly by kismet meet repeatedly until they give in and become friends. Then they debate whether or not men and women can even be friends without sex but they think that they won’t have to worry about that with each other. As a cynic I’ve always identified with Crystal’s character over Ryan’s. I usually watch this movie at least once a year. I honestly think this would be a perfect movie if none of the real life couple interviews were interjected every once in a while. They are too cheesy and ruin the flow of the film. Carrie Fisher costars.
Something Wild (1986) (not currently available)
Something Wild is totally quirky. Melanie Griffith is this great ‘I don’t give a fuck’ type of character who gets Jeff Daniels to go with her back to her hometown for a reunion. Both of them are liars but really likable. Ray Liotta costars as her asshole ex whose character is even named Ray.
The Pick-up Artist (1987) (not currently available)
Robert Downey Jr’s career has undergone many transformations. This was back in his ‘I’m a suave leading man’ phase. He is a a real horn dogging guy who decides to change when he meets the complicated, interesting Randy (played by Molly Ringwald). When the actual plot of trying to get needed money for something kicks in I lost some of my enthusiasm but you do get a cute, young Downey Jr. The film costars Dennis Hopper, Danny Aiello, Harvey Keitel and Victoria Jackson.
The Prince and the Showgirl (1957) (not currently available)
This is one of my favorite Marilyn Monroe films. The movie is about exactly what the title says. Monroe is a showgirl that a prince (as played by Laurence Olivier) is pursuing. Olivier was also the director and producer of the film and Monroe drove him nuts.
Feel free to add the titles of your romantic comedies favorites that are on streaming as a comment and check out the current comments for suggestions from other Netflix viewers. As you can see from this post Netflix has lost the rights to many great films so we’d really love your input.
There are a lot of good romance flicks out there that I would recommend buying too.