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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Film Review: The Romantics

I was expecting a romantic comedy with this film, especially after watching the trailer. I couldn't have been more wrong, this movie was charming, complex and real. The writing and storytelling rank up with some of the best movies I have seen in years. Though most people criticize this film for lacking depth, I found the story to be so compelling and realistic I feel some people must have missed the point.

From the start of the movie to the ending you are brought into a group of friends, with all their feelings and baggage that has been created over years. Every group of friends goes through this time in their lives where they are growing up and becoming mature adults. This story shows a time before having children and the burdens of massive mortgages, private schools, and taxes, and allows us to share in the joys of love and the complexity of that love relative to your close friends and family. Throughout the film there is a feeling that this is finally the end of the friends 'aka The Romantics' as everyone is moving on and living their own lives and building their own families. 

The casting in this movie was brilliant, with Katie Holmes playing a distinctly mature young woman still in love and struggling as she is brought back into the place in her heart she has hidden away and was hoping never to come back to. I had no idea Katie could play such a mature and interesting character. She doesn't try and over sell the feelings her character is dealing with, and allows the audience to interpret what is really going on in her head and heart.

Josh Duhamel is amazing in playing the cold footed groom, that is carrying more than typical wedding day jitters as he is trying to deal with complex emotions and feelings that go along with growing up and becoming a real adult. He does a great job of playing the groom that is formal and respectful to adults and involved in planning the special day, but also can revert back to his young wild days.

Anna Paquin, Candice Bergen, and Dianna Agron do an amazing job of playing the bride and brides family, who are all struggling to ensure this special day is as great as all special days they have had in their sheltered, albeit sophisticated, lives. Candice is so great as the mom who is trying to hold everything together and make sure her daughter's life is just so perfect.

From the start of the film you are brought into these relationships and can feel the love, tensions, excitement, and even resentment that have carried over from years of this group being friends and comrades as they grew-up. I really felt like I could relate and saw many of my friends in the different characters. I could see the days we would go to weddings together because so many of our friends were getting married. It gave us a time to get back together and relive the old days, but in a new dynamic that always carried over us. The film portrays this brilliantly.

The cinematography is amazing, keeping you interested in the story, but also highlighting the sub-stories and feelings that carry through-out the film. The music that was selected for this film is also an important part to telling the story. I was a little disappointed that there was no official soundtrack because the music was wonderful and uplifting.

I personally feel this movie is underrated. I am not a big fan of romantic films or coming of age movies. I never really liked wedding movies, though did find Rachel Getting Married to be interesting. This is an exception to the rule, it has all the charm and emotions that go along with a romantic drama, but brings to life a complex story of feelings and relationships that I hope everyone that watches can enjoy.

The acting in the movie was great. Everyone from Candice Bergen to Elijah Wood to Adam Brody did a great job at being an ensemble cast, rather than one actor stealing the show.

I strongly recommend this film to everyone. It is such a great film! It is a movie you could watch over and over again. Kudos to Galt Niederhoffer, Sam Levy and Jon Sadoff in creating such a great movie!

I give the film 4 out of 5 stars.  

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