Archive for September 15th, 2008

How ironic that the girl who doesn’t care much for romantic comedies would actually like what is billed as “the ultimate romantic comedy”.    It’s also the ultimate palate cleanser for when you’ve overdosed on a certain horror series.

Now, I know what some of you are thinking.   I know you think I only like this because a certain actor is in it, and you’re wrong!   All wrong!    I mean, sure, that helps…but come on.   There’s more to it than that!

It’s the overlapping story of a whole bunch of folks living in London and their various stories involving love set around Christmas time.   Cue the “awwww”s right about now.    There’s the Prime Minister and his secretary; his sister and her husband; a man who has lost his wife to cancer and his stepson, who is in love; stand-ins on an adult film; a jilted writer and his housekeeper, neither of whom speak each other’s languages; a past-his-prime rock star and his manager; two office workers with problems of their own; a happy couple with a friend who loves the bride thrown into the mix, and so on and so forth.   All stories flow in and out of each other surprisingly well.   Some are very well done and others are just…so typically Hollywood romantic that I can’t get quite involved in them.

Love Actually has its problems.   Like all romantic comedies, at some point I find myself spacing a bit.  What makes me like Love Actually is the variety.   Even though the idea of 8 million people having their own stories shoved into one movie gets very overloaded very quickly, the variety is really, really nice, especially because I can fast-forward past the ones I don’t care for.

I’ve never pinned down exactly why I don’t like romantic comedies, but I think part of it is that things like this don’t particularly appeal to me as “romantic” or make me sigh, in the slightest.

My version of a romantic comedy would never get made, because it would involve that man (maybe, he could always be recast) holding a copy of Die Hard and Die Hard II and no silly sign.   My standards:  they are low…I think.

It’s the less syrup-y stuff that gets me.   Like Bill Nighy as the aging rocker who insults everyone and everything live – on the radio, on TV, in his videos.   Or Emma Thompson, as Alan Rickman’s poor, put-upon wife.


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Here’s where things get topsy-turvy.   This is real life, where we follow Heather Langenkamp, her husband Chase and their son Dylan.   Heather is hard at work, but the invite is extended to her to join the newest Nightmare movie that Wes Craven is writing.   We see appearances from various cast members playing themselves and Heather’s husband is a special effects guy who’s working without Heather’s knowledge on Freddy’s newest “glove”.   In fact, the dream opens with a nightmare of Heather’s about this very thing.

When Heather wakes up, she’s in the middle of an earthquake and after said quake subsides, she and Chase run off to work, leaving young Dylan in the capable hands of Super Babysitter Julie.

Heather feels a bit besieged by all of the Freddy Krueger brouhaha; she appears on a TV show where Robert Englund as Freddy Kreuger makes a surprise appearance, the head of New Line Cinema pressures her to be in another Nightmare sequel, and she finds out her husband’s been doing Nightmare related special effects behind her back.    Not only does she want to move on to other projects, but there’s a sense that she worries that her involvement in the string of horror films may leave an impression on her child.  She’s already scared by a stalker who calls in a Freddy voice and leaves notes in her mailbox.


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