Two-Minute Movie Reviews

I’ve seen four films at the theater in the past week and a half.  It will only take two minutes to discuss all of them:


Plot: Narcissistic man-child destroys the relationships around him and refuses to acknowledge it until his own life is affected.

Why I saw it: I will watch almost any musical, and I will watch anything starring Nicole Kidman, Daniel Day-Lewis, and Marion Cotillard.  It’s like killing 4 birds with one stone.

Final Thoughts: Some of the scenes were fabulous.  But overall?  Meh.

Up in the Air

Plot: Narcissistic man-child destroys the relationships around him and refuses to acknowledge it until his own life is affected.

Why I saw it: 1) We almost never get little award-nominated films down here until well past the awards have been handed out. 2) To determine if the awards hype was worth it.

Final Thoughts: How the hell is this getting so many nominations? It’s okay, but nothing particularly special. And as you can see, the plot has been done.

Tooth Fairy

Plot: Narcissistic man-child destroys the relationships around him and refuses to acknowledge it until Julie Andrews turns him into a tooth fairy.

Why I saw it: How shall I put this? …The Rock is hot.  I see all of his Disney movies. And I don’t know if Gridiron Gang is Disney, but I’ve seen that too (like 10 times).  *hangs head in shame*

Final Thoughts: As anyone can tell by the trailer, it’s a bad Disney movie. The Pacifier (which I’ve also seen numerous times) was way better.  Also: The Rock is hot.

Leap Year

Plot: Successful control freak with wedding for brains flies across the world to propose to her fiance (not Matthew Goode) on February 29. He’s been holding out on her for 4 years.

Why I saw it: Girls Day Out with my mom and sister.

Final Thoughts: Matthew Goode is hot. Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way: as far as romantic comedies go, this one was fairly enjoyable.  True, you must get past the fact that this Academy Award nominated actress is playing a stereotypical white woman who will do anything to throw herself at a narcissistic jerk, but once you get past that, it’s all Goode.

This did, then, leave me with this question: what would a non-stereotypical, non-sexist mainstream romantic comedy even look like?


About Melissa

I love donuts. Chocolate iced, hold the sprinkles.
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9 Responses to Two-Minute Movie Reviews

  1. Julian says:

    Hilarious openings to those three movies you gave reviews of. And sort of sad too: that that’s the plot that is always imagined and played out, endlessly, repetitively.

    Have you seen “Chasing Amy”? It’s one film I can think of that was a bit off the stereotypes. Let me know what you think of that one. I think there are other indie films that are less “dominant cultural”, especially some lesbian and gay themed movies. Do you mean het only? You’re asking about the mainstream, and I don’t hold out any hopes for them investing in something that isn’t exploitative of women, and invested in making guys into people women have to take emotional care of, at their own expense. Blech. But Chasing Amy… I liked it, but haven’t seen it in AGES.

  2. Melissa says:

    I’ve had Chasing Amy on my Netflix queue for ages, but I’ve never gotten around to watching it. I’ll have to bump it up.

    It would be great if a non-het romcom to made it into the mainstream. I know there are some indie ones out there, I just wish they would get the same kind of publicity and screenings!

  3. Julian says:

    Oh, I agree. I mean wouldn’t it be fantastic to have such counter-patriarchal themes make it regularly into the major motion pictures. Instead Indigenism is done a huge disservice with the popularity of Avatar, which, in part, creates yet another white male hero. As if there weren’t enough in cinema.

  4. Da says:

    Here’s a suggestion for a movie. It’s called “How the Movie Industry Works.”

    Plot: Self-avowed feminist sees shallow mainstream movies that she finds morally objectionable, feeding money into a system that will produce more films like these because they make money.

    Why I saw it: There’s a TOTALLY hot boy in it! And music! And it’s Girl’s Night Out!

    Final Thoughts: Man that movie sucked! Why do they keep making these formulaic, stereotype-enforcing films? Studio executives must just be extra-super bigoted.

  5. Melissa says:


    Though for the record, I don’t necessarily find these films morally objectionable (and for the record, two of these movies are Oscar bait, not just crappy fluff). Are they tired plots? Yes. Is it a crappy situation all the way around? Definitely. But Disney is always going to make Disney-type movies. Romcoms are (unfortunately) going to follow stereotypical formulas. They have their place, they have their fan base, and (gasp!) I even find myself enjoying some of them from time to time.

    I love foreign, art house, and indie–they’re my favorites–but we rarely get those types of films where I live. When we DO get them, I’m always more than happy to vote for those films with my cash. However, sometimes I don’t feel like reading subtitles or analyzing mis en scene. Sometimes I do feel like blowing off reality and looking at totally hot men and women and having a girl’s night out. If there were non-stereotypical romcoms, I would absolutely be there on opening weekend. Unfortunately, even if such films did exist, chances are they wouldn’t be screening in my neck of the woods.

  6. Zardeenah says:

    One of my favorite romantic comedies is “Groundhog Day”…Murray’s character doesn’t ‘get the girl’ until he’s a completely changed person…And doing everything right (in the typical romcom way) totally doesn’t work. It doesn’t end in a wedding, and Andie MacDowell is cool — she’s not wedding obsessed, just a TV producer trying to do her job. Plus, it’s a little bit sci-fi, which is always good for me. Actually, that’s probably the only reason I saw it, since I’m not usually a romcom kind of girl.

    I also liked Ghost Town, with Greg Kinnear, Tea Leoni and Ricky Gervais. More coming at things from a sci-fi kind of perspective.

  7. johnqpublican says:

    I would say that there is at least one possible candidate, which I wasn’t sure there would be: Shirley Valentine, 1989. Good movie, but I guess this is a No True Scotsman question; precisely in so far as it is good, it becomes “non-mainstream”, or at least atypical. Also, not being made by Hollywood, it wasn’t heavily marketed.

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  9. Katherine says:

    If you (and everyone else) sto-pped watching movies that were shallow and mainstream, the movie industry wouldn’t suddenly start making good movies with original plots and thoroughly fleshed-out female/black/non-hetero/trans/disabled characters. They’d go “OH NO no-one is watching movies anymore” and up the violence/sex/cheesy-sappy-romance factors in an effort to attract more of their imaginary 19-34 white cis hetero males (or females for the romcoms) that they constantly tell themselves are their primary audience. If you can’t spend your money on an alternative, it doesn’t matter whether you spend it on the stuff you wish there was less of.

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