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Archives for : Romantic Comedy

Movie Review: “Ticket to Paradise” is a Decent Trip w/ Scenic Sights

It’s kind of hard to say no to anything with George Clooney or Julia Roberts. But when they team up for a rom-com, I’m sold! 

“Ticket to Paradise” tells a predictable story about a divorced couple, David (Clooney) and Georgia (Roberts), who can barely tolerate sitting next to each other at their daughter’s law school graduation. But, when their daughter, Lily (played by Kaitlyn Dever) goes on what was supposed to be a summer trip to Bali and falls in love/gets engaged to a native named Gede (Maxime Bouttier); David and Georgia put their differences aside to stop the wedding.

Like most romantic comedies, I’m sure you see where this story is going. When it comes to rom-coms, it’s not the predictability that is the issue, it’s whether or not we are served a fresh perspective and/or a handful of laughs. “Ticket to Paradise” offers nothing new story wise and, sadly, not a whole lot of laughs.

The film’s runtime is around an hour and 40 minutes, but the pacing is a lot slower compared to other films in that genre. This is due to the lack of comedy. The best moments are when Clooney and Roberts are at each other’s throats. Their disdain for each other is funny, and the audience will crave more bitter banter as the two have wonderful comedic chemistry. I’m just shocked they didn’t utilize their humor more. We have seen Roberts go much bigger in past rom-coms, and it’s always a joy to see. That being said, it seems that, Director/Writer, OI Parker’s intentions with this film were to have more serious conversations with subtle humor verses the typical slapstick comedy tropes. I absolutely respect this choice, but also seems like a missed opportunity with these two stars.

What “Ticket to Paradise” does offer, is a stunning setting that’s its own character, and a charming, talented cast you can’t help but fall for. Dever and Billie Lourd team up again since “Booksmart” and continue to shine on-screen. Bouttier and the rest of the actors playing island natives are also a joy to watch. And of course, the whole purpose of this movie– George Clooney and Julia Roberts are magnetizing. I think we’d be entertained watching these two have a conversation about drywall.

There’s nothing wrong with the film, but in a year where there have been some fresh romantic comedies like, “Bros” or “I Want You Back”, it’s hard to get excited about this one.

However, with such a lovable cast, and beautiful location, “Ticket to Paradise” can be an enjoyable, lighthearted comedy to escape all the madness in our lives.

Rating: B-

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Movie Review: “Bros” is the Funniest Film of the Year!

Bros. CR: Universal

It’s crazy to think that “Bros” is the first romantic comedy about two men falling in love to be produced by a mainstream studio. It’s long overdue. But, if we had to wait this long, I’m glad we put it in the hands of Billy Eichner (Co-Writer) and Nick Stoller (Director/Co-Writer) to be the first ones to make it.

The film centers on Bobby (Eichner), a popular podcast host and LGBTQ+ historian who prides himself on being guarded and non-committal when it comes to relationships. He seems perfectly satisfied with his one-night stands and Grindr hook ups even though all the people in his life are in serious relationships. But everything changes when Bobby meets Aaron (Luke MacFarlane) at a night club. The two are total opposites. Aaron gives off meathead vibes, Ken doll looks, and a bro-like personality. However, the two are insanely drawn to each other. What starts off as a no-strings attached kind of fling, quickly turns into something much deeper. But like any romcom, the couple face some obstacles that will challenge their newfound romance.

In addition to the film’s historic romantic storyline, the movie also features and entirely LGBTQ+ cast. And it’s entertaining to watch some of those characters poke fun at their own current identity politics. “Bros” goes beyond the surface level romcom with its conversation about the importance of LGBTQ+ historical figures. It will likely spark a debate about what age children should learn about these figures, but the way the film handles this topic is one of my favorite parts of the movie.

“Bros” does follow the typical romcom formula with many familiar tropes, which are well done and nice to see in theaters again. What’s also great to see is the chemistry between Eichner and MacFarlane. The banter between the two of them is exciting foreplay, and the romance it leads to actually brought back the butterflies I use to feel from 90’s romcom classics. Not to mention, the two of them are fantastic actors. MacFarlane throws a nod to his “Hallmark” movies resume, but proves he deserves to be on the big screen. And Eichner is more than a supporting role or “Billy on the Street”, he’s a damn good leading man!

I should add, the film is produced by the one and only, Judd Apatow. Meaning, yes, it holds all the same magic that his previous, successful romcoms had, like “Knocked Up” and “Trainwreck”. “Bros” is just as raunchy, original, and HILARIOUS! The laugh out loud moments are greatly due to the witty screenplay.

“Bros” is an important watch for many reasons, but it’s also an incredibly fun one. I highly encourage moviegoers see this one in theaters and spread the word! Also, can we get started on a “Bros 2”?

Rating: A+

Check out my interview w/ the stars, Billy Eichner and Luke MacFarlane in the video below!

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“Bros” Interview w/ Billy Eichner and Luke MacFarlane

I got the chance to sit down with the stars of the new, groundbreaking romantic comedy, “Bros.” Billy Eichner and Luke MacFarlane discuss a time they tried to impress a significant other and what the representation in this film means to them. They also answer some rapid fire questions related to the movie in this hilarious and fun interview!

“Bros” opens in theaters on September 30, 2022.

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Movie Review: “Elvis” & “Mr. Malcolm’s List”

This week I review Baz Luhrmann’s biopic over “The King” of rock & roll, Elvis and a Jane Austen style romantic comedy, Mr. Malcolm’s List.

“Elvis” and “Mr. Malcolm’s List” is currently playing in theaters.

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Review: “Top Gun: Maverick” & “Fire Island”

This week I review the highly anticipated sequel, “Top Gun: Maverick” and the perfect rom-com to kick-off Pride Month, “Fire Island”.

“Top Gun: Maverick” is currently playing in theaters and “Fire Island” will be available to stream on Hulu June 3, 2022.

Watch the full reviews in the video below!

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Movie Review: “Marry Me” Plays a Great Beat, but Fails to Make a Hit

As a rom-com lover I am so torn on my feelings for Universal Picture’s new film, “Marry Me”. I wanted this movie to give me the same feels that Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant created in “Notting Hill”. Sure, it wasn’t the most realistic plot, but their chemistry sold it. Sadly, the only spark in this film is ignited through the music.

I would like to preface this by saying, I think both Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson have done wonderful in other romantic comedies (i.e., “The Wedding Planner” & “Wedding Crashers”). Unfortunately, they just aren’t a great match.

In “Marry Me”, Kat Valdez (Lopez), a pop superstar is set to wed a sexy singer named Bastian (played by Colombian sensation Maluma) live on TV for millions of people to see. Just before the nuptials, news breaks out that her fiancé cheated on her with her assistant. She is shocked, embarrassed, and at a loss. As she stares at her adoring crowd, she spots single dad, Charlie (Wilson), holding a “Marry Me” sign. She brings him on stage for an unexpected exchange of “I do”. What follows is the most cliché rom-com formula. They give the marriage a chance for appearances and fall in love during the process. But of course, their relationship isn’t easy. Kat is more than just a famous singer. She also markets products, and is constantly being filmed for social media. Charlie doesn’t even own a smartphone, and leads a simple life as a math teacher and father.

I don’t mind that the film is predictable. Every rom-com pretty much is, and there’s great comfort in that genre because of it. However, in order to keep these movies fresh, at the very least there needs to be a sliver of a spark between the couple we’re supposed to root for. I honestly would have been fine if Kat just ended up single making hit pop songs. She seemed more passionate about that than her relationship with Charlie. And sadly, the script did not do the cast any favors. There was not enough humor, excitement, or intrigue.

Despite all the negatives I’m saying about the film, there was still some bright spots. The diverse cast at the school gave representation of all kinds of children and teachers. Sarah Silverman playing Charlie’s coworker and friend produced multiple laughs. The music was fantastic! I’ve already ordered my soundtrack (Yes, it’s that catchy). And the brightest light of them all is the charismatic JLo. She may not have sold me on her love for Owen, but she sold me on her love for herself. As a producer on the movie, Lopez also portrays a character much like the real her; divorced three times, a pop sensation, a badass dancer, and her life is constantly on display for the world. You can’t help but admire her ability to poke fun at herself, but also show her strength.

“Marry Me” may not have had me swooning over the “romance”. However, the film made me care more for Jennifer Lopez as an artist and human being. So, not quite the Valentine’s Day movie you’re hoping for, but might satisfy the JLo fans.

Rating: C

“Marry Me” opens in theaters and streams on Peacock February 11, 2022

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Interview: “I Want You Back” with Scott Eastwood & Clark Backo

Looking for the right romantic comedy for Valentine’s Day this year? The search is over, Amazon Studios’ newest film, “I Want You Back”, is witty, hilarious, and a whole lot of fun. I got a chance to speak with two of the stars from the movie, Scott Eastwood and Clark Backo. We discuss how you know you’ve found the right person, when they realize they were adults, and sing a little karaoke.

Watch the full interview and the film when it releases on Amazon Prime February 11, 2022.

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Never Have I Ever Season 2 Interview w/ Cast

Mindy Kaling’s hit Netflix, comedy series is back! Season 2 of “Never Have I Ever” offers more laughs and romance than the first. The show is inspired by Kailing’s own childhood. It follows the complicated life of a modern-day first generation Indian American teenager. I spoke with the cast of the show to discuss whose voice would calm them down when feeling stressed, characters they saw themselves in when growing up and more.

“Never Have I Ever” season 2 is now streaming on Netflix.

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Interview: Jeff Rosenberg & Laura Jacqmin talk “We Broke Up”

“Lori (Aya Cash) and Doug (William Jackson Harper), a longtime couple who break up just days before Lori’s little sister Bea’s wedding to Jayson. In order to not disrupt the fun, the couple decides to pretend they’re still together until the weekend is over. “

I spoke with Director/Co-writer Jeff Rosenberg and Co-writer Laura Jacqmin to discuss long term relationship break ups, the key to a good wedding speech, which celebrity couple they hope never breaks up and much more!

Listen to the full interview below!

“We Broke Up” opens on April 16, 2021

(Left) Laura Jacqmin & (Middle) Jeff Rosenberg
“We Broke Up” Interview with Director/Co-Writer Jeff Rosenberg & Co-Writer Laura Jacqmin
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Movie Review: “Bliss”

Amazon Studios new sci-fi thriller, “Bliss” is a mind-bending headscratcher. The film follows Greg (Owen Wilson) who, after losing his job and recent divorce, discovers he’s been living a computer simulated world. Susan Stephens shares her thoughts on the film along with suggestions of two romances to watch during this Valentine’s Day weekend.

“Bliss” is available to stream on Amazon Prime February 5, 2021.

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