Yesterday I wrote, tongue-in-cheek, a blog regarding the plot lines, ins-and-outs, wardrobes, and all there is’s with ROM-COMs as I see them. A lighter, more comedic approach to the genre. My frustration wasn’t with the movies themselves … it was (and is) with my inability to stay away from watching them. Writing about the inherent, obvious, predictable ebbs and flows gives me a tether – a stability in the midst of my temporary insanity. Bear with me as I attempt to loosen the bonds of frame by frame subjugation in which I find myself.
Keeping that in mind, I present the movie above. This 2011 romantic comedy has a personal connection. The director, Jim Fall, is a family friend. He is a graduate of my high school – only a year or so ahead of me – and was active in a lot of the music groups available to the student body. His interest, primary, was choral. Mine – instrumental, but we knew each other in passing.
A quick Wikipedia read has movie bio credits from 1999 through 2018 with “The Lizzie McGuire Movie” and “Trick 2” being two feature films of note listed in the Filmography among eight others. I encourage you to read his complete bio.
Jim does a marvelous job directing the film. My reflections below are just that … MINE. I have no doubt he would join me in understanding my frustrations are not about his work, or, the work of the actors, script writers, or crew. The story is wonderful. I am a slave to these. Period.
The movie to which I refer above, has the main character, Hillary, in a pickle. (If you are going to watch the movie, stop here…..) I’ll wait.
Ok. She finds herself alone after her jerk of a fiance dumps her kinda-because …. well, he’s a bald-spot on his chin shadow at 2pm lawyer who can’t stay off his phone long enough to have a civil conversation with her. Oh, and he wants her to move to Pittsburgh AFTER he earns a promotion at work (i.e. makes partner because there’s nobody – NOBODY – there who deserves it more). She doesn’t -er, hesititates ever so slightly – so, he kicks her to the curb while they’re walking next to the curb. She cries. He’s not seen again for a long, long time.
Hillary is helped along by a bestie who encourages her to get out there … ya know, put up a video on a dating site. Aha!! … Here’s a twist!. She happens to win a trip for two to Mexico …SO why not offer up those tickets to any guy willing to pretend to be her fiance at the Thanksgiving dinner at her folks home (who don’t know the fiance is no-go-guy)? See, there’s pressure at the ole’ home to marry and Hillary feels it … bad. Family ‘don’t know bad-breakup boy “Jason”, so the ruse is on. Take fake fiance and pass him off as Jason. Oh, the deeds of the needy… the game is a-foot.
She settles in on red-cell-phone guy David. Long story. Well not really. He’s an out of work actor working the streets who is the eventual winner in the internet video “find Hillary a Thanksgiving fake date Sweepstakes”. Seems a bit young for her in the beginning; however, cleans up a little, puts extra mousse in his hair, stops walking like a toddler, talks in complete sentences, and grows into his part …. uhm… (you know what I mean!)
Hillary settles into a less rigid character as the movie moves into the family Thanksgiving scenes. Opposite of David, she becomes open – less mature, if you will. Dealing with an over-protective mother, a sensitive, but goofy father, and a rebellious sister, her boundaries soften enough to realize her love is increasing for David. … what else? It’s a ROM-COM!
So….family dynamics back-and-forth for an hour. David playing Jason. We learn about them. They learn about them. Yeah-yeah. Oh, and Hillary is…in…L-O-V-E
And then. UH-OH!! JASON IS BACK…. Might as well be Friday the 13th! … Door bell rings and there he is. Guess what? He didn’t get the promotion. Da-da-Daaaah…..
Jason declares his love, once-a-freakin-gain for Hillary and she – (insert goofball icon here) ACCEPTS HIM BACK. Meanwhile, I’m not buying it because, although the love story doesn’t seem genuine between Hillary and David, the connection between Hillary and Jason is as bad as me and Charlize Theron: Just ain’t there.
AND.. I was right because five minutes later, Hillary is running frantically out the door to find David after Jason – the former fiance-turned curb dirt-then fiance-now pond bottom feeder once again couldn’t put his cell phone down long enough to kiss her goodnight. Good golly, Molly.
Ending? A wedding. Oh, with a dog jumping in the car with the happy couple. We never saw the dog until that moment but know it’s name is Whiskey because Hillary wrote an article that David read about that dog. Jason and Hillary’s mom never read the article. Silly, silly people.
Jason is nowhere to be found. Probably hasn’t shaved, either. Goof.